4WD drives through fence into Eyhorne Meadow. – UPDATED.

Overnight a 4WD drive has been driven through a fence on the edge of Eyhorne Meadow near to the end of Eyhorne Street close to the A20 and Great Danes roundabout. The Meadow was planted with trees to commemorate the Millennium by the Kent Men of Trees and it is understood that the land is owned and managed by the Leeds Castle Foundation who have been informed of the incident. A public footpath crosses the meadow which links up with the roundabout at the bottom of Penfold Hill on the A20. No report has been received of any injuries following the accident. 

Prior to the construction of the M20 in the early 1990’s, the land formed part of the grounds of Cotuam’s Hall until it was compulsorily purchased for the building of the M20. When work started the avenue of trees which led from the A20 along Eyhorne Street was felled and the land between the M20 and village was promised by the Department of Transport as a barrier for the village. The land was landscaped and trees were planted which were then felled for the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. The railway line was built in a cut and cover tunnel following a successful local campaign when residents offered to pay for the £5 million tunnel. After £100 was raised in 1993, the then Transport Minister, Mr Roger Freeman MP agreed to pay for it after some national media exposure which was organised by the late Harry Arnold who lied at Tanyard House and was at different times the royal correspondents of the Sun and the Daily Mirror. .

Pictured below (top) is the abandoned 4WD and (bottom) is the M20 through Eyhorne Meadow which will be used for Operation Brock if and when the UK leaves the EU Customs Union after Brexit.

Some 2000 lorries awaiting Customs at Dover and Eurotunnel will be parked on the left or coastbound side. The right side will be used for a 13 mile contraflow system with a 50 mph speed limit which will carry non-lorry traffic in the centre two lane section while the other two lanes will be used for all traffic. Some 30% of the UK international trade goes through Dover and Eurotunnel and most of it will have to come through this section of the M20 from Junction 8 at Hollingbourne to Junction 9 at Ashford. It is assumed that facilities for stranded drivers will be installed on the hard shoulder of the coast bound side. There is no hard shoulder or similar on the London bound side and a number of accidents occurred because of the width of the lanes when a temporary dividing barrier was installed last year.

The apparently abandoned 4WD in Eyhorne Meadow in January 2019.
The M20 under Eyhorne Street with the proposed Operation Brock lorry storage area on the left and the site of the contraflow system on the right. Some 10,000 lorries a day pass through Dover with a further 6,000 through Eurotunnel with most using this section of motorway. Customs clearance time per vehicle is expected to increase from an average of two minutes per lorry to 20-30 minutes which will result in major traffic issues for Kent. Kent County Council has recently given advice to schools about the impact of post Brexit traffic problems and according to Kent Online say that schools close to the A2, M2, and M20 may be the most affected. More information is  here. UPDATE – Other information reported on 24th January about the possible effects of Brexit on Kent is here.

UPDATE on 21st January – In a totally separate incident overnight a vehicle has left the road on the bend in Eyhorne Street and has crashed through the white picket fence of the house next to the bourne.