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Government considering cost of Op Stack solution after speaking to Kent MPs

The government's commitment to solving Operation Stack was brought up in Prime Minister's Questions today.

Earlier Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins led a delegation of Kent MPs who met with Chancellor George Osborne to reiterate the importance of a long-term solution to Operation Stack.

Speaking to KentOnline, Mr Collins said the message had "got through loud and clear" and the cost of a fix would form part of the government's current spending review.

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Chancellor George Osborne
Chancellor George Osborne

He said: "We don't want to go through another summer like last summer.

"There were 32 days lost to Operation Stack, 27 in June and July. That can never be allowed to happen again.

"The amount of freight on our roads is only going to grow, so it's vital we find a solution."

Mr Osborne had been left with "a strong impression of what this means to Kent," said Mr Collins.

An aerial view of Operation Stack on the M20. Picture: Simon Burchett.
An aerial view of Operation Stack on the M20. Picture: Simon Burchett.

The Kent MP followed up the meeting with a question to David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions, asking if the government would consider a long-term solution.

In response, David Cameron said: "I absolutely recognise the serious problems to Kent residents and businesses when it became necessary to put into place Operation Stack.

"We've already implemented short term measures including Manston airfield as a contingency measure.

"I know that he met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer with other Kent MPs and we're happy to build on this work.

"I understand the pressures and will do everything we can to relieve them."

Last summer Operation Stack brought Kent to a standstill for much of the summer, costing millions of pounds to businesses across the UK.

Several solutions have been proposed, with an estimated price tag of almost half a billion pounds.

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