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Second Kent MP confirms Operation Brock on M20 to be lifted

By Paul Francis

Operation Brock will be lifted by Highways England, a second MP has confirmed.

Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat says he spoke with roads minister Jesse Norman who had told him the contra-flow on the M20 between Ashford and Maidstone would be lifted within days.

"I have spoken to the roads minister who said Operation Brock would be delayed... and hopefully will never now be needed because of the agreement.

MP Tom Tugendhat speaking during the debate. Picture: Parliament TV (8469218)
MP Tom Tugendhat speaking during the debate. Picture: Parliament TV (8469218)

"It is good news for our community."

Faversham and Mid Kent MP Helen Whately earlier said she had been told by Highways England that a decision was imminent.

The London-bound M20 between Ashford and Maidstone has been in place for the last three weeks and has been criticised by some as unsafe.

Highways England has faced calls for the ending of the scheme after the news that the government would now have until October 31 to negotiate a Brexit deal.

Speaking earlier, Ashford MP Damian Green said: “If we are definitely not leaving at the end of this week then I see no reason to continue with Operation Brock and I hope it can be lifted as soon as possible."

The contraflow system, dubbed Operation Brock, has been put in place on the M20 (8469409)
The contraflow system, dubbed Operation Brock, has been put in place on the M20 (8469409)

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader on Kent County Council Rob Bird said that Highways England should act immediately to lift Operation Brock: “It is disruptive it is dangerous; it is not working effectively or efficiently and we should get rid of it.”

Highways England has previously said it was keeping the scheme under a review on a day-by-day basis.

It has also emphasised that it cannot de-activate Operation Brock at the flick of a switch. When it was first put in place, there were several overnight closures on the M20 to install the barrier.

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