Published: 15:18, 11 September 2019
| Updated: 22:00, 11 September 2019
Motorway checkpoints will be put in place to ensure that lorries have not by-passed traffic management queues as part of Operation Brock.
The checkpoints will be put in place between Junction 8 and 9 of the M20, according to a report that updates the county council’s Brexit contingency plans.
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It is unclear where the checks will be carried out but hauliers heading to the Channel ports will need to show that they have joined via the M26 and not other roads.
Hauliers face £300 fines if they do not follow so-called 'approved Operation Brock routes' under proposals aimed at ensuring that they do not clog up local roads.
The report says that Kent has "well-developed plans to ensure we minimise disruption to Kent's residents and businesses" in the face of having to deal with as many as 12,000 lorries on the county’s roads.
But it also identifies a number of "mission critical" measures that remain outstanding and the government needs to finalise to ensure the authorities are prepared to deal with a no-deal scenario.
Operation Brock dismantled after another Brexit delay
These include confirming the locations for all the customs clearance sites HMRC plans; giving KCC’s own highways officers powers to enforce compliance with Operation Brock and setting out "priority freight arrangements" for key supplies, such as medicines.
KCC leader Cllr Paul Carter repeated a call for council highways officers to have the same powers as the police and Highways England to marshal traffic.
The report also flags up additional factors that could place the council under greater pressure under a no-deal Brexit, including the increased risk of severe weather.
On the county’s readiness to deal with Brexit,Cllr Carter saidhe was confident the authority had contingency measures in place to limit theimpact.
However, he said he did not want the contra-flow on the M20 to be a permanent fixture. “There has to be a solution to that; let’s see how it works with all the changing customs arrangements but it is a workable option that is better than Operation Stack.”
“I would like to see that Highways England and Kent Police have enough manpower to make sure chaos does not ensue. I am not saying there won’t be delays but it is preferable to closing the motorway because we have all seen the massive chaos that can cause.”
He has recently expressed fears over government plans for five customs clearance stations in the county, warning it could lead to mayhem.