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Plans by Eurotunnel to improve lorry access to Channel Tunnel entrance at Cheriton could remove need for Operation Stack

Eurotunnel has unveiled plans to improve access to the Channel Tunnel entrance at Cheriton, near Folkestone.

The announcement was made today during a visit to the terminal by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

The company plans to create better access to the tunnel entrance from the M20 motorway and to double the holding capacity for HGVs at the terminal.

Operation Stack in place on the M20. Stock image
Operation Stack in place on the M20. Stock image

This twin project could remove the need for Operation Stack to be implemented on the motorway when there are problems with train movements through the tunnel, when there is industrial action at French ports and when bad weather in the Channel curtails ferry crossings.

At present Operation Stack can be introduced by Kent Police when any of these three problems creates a backlog of freight traffic trying to get to France.

The system, operated by Kent Police, leads to sections of the M20 being turned into giant lorry holding areas, leading to lengthy delays for both freight traffic and Kent residents who are diverted onto alternative routes such as the A20 and M2.

Mr Alexander welcomed the Eurotunnel plans during his visit.

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