Operation Brock: M20 traffic controls to stay until after Easter – BBC


The queuing system for lorries approaching Dover will remain in place until after the Easter bank holiday weekend, it has been announced.
Operation Brock, where lorries heading to Dover queue on one side of the M20, was put in place last week.
It was brought in to deal with heavy congestion exacerbated by P&O Ferries routes being suspended.
The Kent Resilience Forum said Brock will remain in place until after Easter "as a precaution" to manage traffic.
Queues of freight on both the M20 and the A20 heading to the cross-Channel ports again stretched for miles on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it had detained the Spirit of Britain, one of the ferries which normally runs on the Dover-Calais route.
An MCA spokesperson said the ship had been detained "due to surveyors identifying a number of deficiencies".
Another P&O Dover-Calais ferry, the Pride of Kent, had previously been detained. Three other vessels have yet to be inspected.
The inspections follow the dismissal of almost 800 P&O staff last month without notice, which sparked widespread condemnation.
A trade body raised "humanitarian" concerns over HGV drivers stuck in lengthy queues without access to basic hygiene facilities, food and water.
Heidi Skinner, from Logistics UK, which represents logistics firms, said: "We are calling for an urgent review into the effectiveness of Operation Brock as a traffic management scheme, and most importantly, the humanitarian issues it raises as HGV drivers are left unable to access basic hygiene facilities, food and drink."
A Kent Resilience Forum spokesperson said for "safety reasons it is not possible to provide welfare on a live motorway where traffic is moving, even if slowly".
However, when cross-Channel freight queues were at a standstill, food and water were provided, the spokesperson added.
Nicola Bell, National Highways' regional director, said: "Our top priorities are to help people complete their journeys and allow local communities and businesses to go about their daily business with minimal disruption.
"We keep the deployment of Operation Brock under continual review."
Lorries, lorries, lorries. pic.twitter.com/fTjTj0BWJq
Scenes of gridlock unfolded in Kent at the start of the month due to a shortage of ferries, bad weather and the start of the Easter break.
Problems with a key IT system for custom checks after Brexit also contributed to traffic at the UK's busiest port.
Operation Brock remained in place on Tuesday on the M20, with a section between junctions eight and 11 closed coastbound for queueing freight.
In addition, the Dover Traffic Access Protocol (TAP) scheme, which queues port-bound lorries on the nearside of the A20 outside the town, was implemented due to heavy lorry volumes.
By Simon Jones, BBC South East, Dover
Hundreds of HGVs are once again queueing on the A20 on the outskirts of Dover.
The long lines of lorries briefly cleared on Sunday night and into Monday morning, but by Monday afternoon they were back again.
Residents in Aycliffe who overlook the queues from their homes have had enough.
The lorry drivers forced to wait have had enough too, sounding their horns in frustration.
But this is set to continue for several more days – with the congestion likely to get worse before it gets better.
Meanwhile, the body which oversees efforts to tackle congestion in Kent has warned levels of freight traffic are expected to rise in the run up to the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Kent Resilience Forum strategic planning lead, Simon Jones, said: "While both freight and passenger traffic has been flowing well along cross-Channel routes since the weekend, the volume of HGVs heading to Europe is set to increase again ahead of Thursday evening."
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