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Highways England denies Operation Stack forced them to suspend work on Operation Brock

By Paul Francis

Highways chiefs have denied the implementation of Operation Stack has forced them to suspend work on Operation Brock - the emergency Brexit plan that would see a contra-flow along the London-bound M20.

The controversial measure was introduced for the first time in four years yesterday due to delays crossing the Channel caused by Storm Gareth.

But the closure of the M20 between junctions 8 and 9 led to huge delays across east Kent as drivers were forced onto alternative routes.

Operation Stack was introduced for the first time in four years
Operation Stack was introduced for the first time in four years

Highways England, which is overseeing Operation Stack and is carrying out the work on the separate plan under Operation Brock, said it was "unfortunate timing" but it expected to have completed the work by the original Brexit deadline of March 29.

Responding to questions about why Operation Brock could not be used, Highways England tweeted: "Unfortunately at current the contraflow for Operation Brock is not ready to be used as there are further construction works to be conducted."

Several Kent MPs have expressed frustration at the triggering of Operation Stack for the first time since 2015.

Ashford MP Damian Green said it was appalling that no alternatives had been found.

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Faversham and Mid Kent MP Helen Whately tweeted it was frustrating the scheme was not ready and she had asked for updates from the Department of Transport.

Highways England was told to investigate options for a permanent lorry park site after it was forced to scrap plans for one off the M20 at Folkestone in the face of a legal challenge.

But there have been no announcements on alternative sites despite a pledge that there would be a public consultation in 2018 and a formal application this year.

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