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No-deal Brexit traffic plan Operation Brock will be ready to go from October 28, says government

The government has confirmed that Operation Brock will be ready to go at the end of October - meaning the M20 London bound contra-flow between Ashford and Maidstone will remain in place.

The government says the scheme will keep traffic running in both directions on the M20 in the event of disruption to services across the English Channel caused by Brexit.

Operation Brock being trialled on the M20 (19271935)
Operation Brock being trialled on the M20 (19271935)

The contra-flow has been in place for several months and been criticised by many motorists who say it is unsafe because of the narrow lanes.

There have also been concerns lorries heading to the Ashford Truckstcp for customs clearance checks will create disruption and delays as work on the new M20 Junction 10a had been scheduled to complete after the Brexit deadline.

Highways England recently agreed to bring forward work at the new junction so it could be used by hauliers.

The Department for Transport said in a statement: “Operation Brock will go live on 28 October to manage any traffic disruption and help keep trade moving in and out of the UK.

“The government has worked closely with the Kent Resilience Forum to implement the scheme, which will manage any delays to Europe-bound freight while protecting local roads from disruption.

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“It will keep the M20 open in both directions for all other traffic, minimising any impacts on local residents, businesses and public services.”

The announcement means from October 28 highways officials will be able to activate the scheme if needed.

Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “We want residents in Kent and hauliers travelling from across the EU to be reassured that there are robust plans in place to deal with any disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

He added: “We now need everyone to do their bit – whether you are travelling to see family, heading to work or transporting vital goods around the country, please check before you travel to ensure you know what to expect and have the right documents when heading to the border.”

Operation Brock consists of four phases, with the contra-flow being the second phase after the Dover “TAP” scheme. It also could involve thousands of lorries being diverted to Manston and finally the M26 could be used to park lorries.

Hauliers driving during Operation Brock and heading to Europe via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel will need to be on the Operation Brock routes and follow all diversions, instructions and speed restrictions rather than relying on satellite navigation systems.

They will also need to be ready to show that they have the right paperwork.

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