Government launches Get Ready for Brexit information campaign.

The Government has today launched a “Get Ready for Brexit” on 31st October 2019 information campaign and more details are at https://www.gov.uk/get-ready-brexit-check It is understood that the full campaign will cost £100 million and the information on the Government website is very detailed and covers both issues of importance to both individuals and businesses.

More information about Brexit in Kent can be found from the Kent Resilience Forum at http://www.kentprepared.org.uk/ and at http://www.kentprepared.org.uk/page1.aspx?p=13&t=2 plus http://www.kentprepared.org.uk/page1.aspx?p=15&t=3

In his September newsletter at https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/september-2019-newsletter-from-our-maidstone-borough-councillor/ , local Maidstone Borough Councillor Patrik Garten states that a total of five Common Transit Convention facilities will be opened in Kent where Customs documents can be checked in order to avoid lorry queues at Dover and Eurotunnel. In the Sunday Times of 25th August it was reported that there will be a Customs document checking facility between Maidstone and Ashford on the M20 but no further information is currently available.

Just now thousands of lorries pass through Hollingbourne on the M20 each day on the way to and from the Channel and any stops for vehicle checks may impact on local traffic. After Brexit, if the UK leaves the EU Customs Union, the 13 mile stretch of the M20 between Junction 8 in Hollingbourne and Junction 9 in Ashford will be used to store around 2000 lorries awaiting Customs as part of Operation Brock. The Road Haulage Association has estimated that lorries could be stuck there for two days and Highways England have previously stated that there will be no facilities for drivers. South East Water have been asked if they will provide drinking water but they have declined to comment so far.

Hollingbourne is key pinch point in the transport corridor between the UK and the EU with the M20, HS1, the A20, and the South Eastern railway lines passing through the village within yards of each other. Over the last year many TV crews have visited Hollingbourne to film the M20 and the site of Operation Brock.

It has been reported that Dover handles around 17% of the UK’s trade in goods with Eurotunnel doing another 13%. Most of this passes through the Hollingbourne transport corridor.

Pictured below is the A20 in Hollingbourne passing under the M20 and HS1 with the South Eastern railway line which occasionally carries rail freight to the EU just out of sight.

The Hollingbourne to Ashford transport corridor where the M20, A20, and the CTRL converge. M20 London bound traffic is often diverted on to the A20 because of incidents on the London bound side of the M20 which has been reduced to two lanes with no refuges to the London bound side can be used as a contraflow system after Brexit. The coastbound side will be a lorry park.