Published: 13:44, 21 January 2021
| Updated: 14:23, 21 January 2021
So far, so good.
That was the message from KCC's senior highways manager Toby Howe to members of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board as he reported on the effects of Brexit on the county's roads.
Mr Howe said the county had implemented its traffic management plan at the end of the transition period on December 31, with Operation Brock in place to control queuing lorries and with inland border facilities at Sevington near Ashford, and at the former Manston Airport.
He said that in addition to the new paperwork required by importers and exporters, there was now the problem of Covid testing for the drivers, but both Sevington and Manston were providing tests.
He said the route for lorries heading to the Port of Dover was up Detling Hill and across to Manston, while Channel Tunnel traffic to Folkestone went down the M20 via Operation Brock to Eurotunnel.
Mr Howe said: "There hasn't been as much traffic as we anticipated and there have been very few vehicles held in Brock."
Mr Howe and his officers received universal praise from councillors for a job well done.
Cllr Valerie Springett (Con) said: "Operation Brock seems to be working really well. We haven't had anything like the disruption through Bearsted that we used to get with Operation Stack."
Cllr Rob Bird (Lib Dem) wanted to now what happened to the many light commercial vehicles wanting to make the crossing who were not obliged to enter the HGV routes.
Mr Howe conceded that light commercial vehicles had caused a huge problem as they parked up around Dover before Christmas, when the French had halted all cross-Channel movements, but said the problem had since dissipated.
Asked whether foreign drivers were able to avoid paying the fines, if caught disobeying the specified routes they were now obliged to follow, Mr Howe said definitely not.
British-based companies were given 28 days to pay any resulting fines, but foreign companies, if they couldn't pay the fine on the spot, had their vehicles clamped until payment was received.