At the the present time it is becoming increasingly likely that the UK will leave the EU on 31st October 2019 and that no new “deal” will have been struck with the EU. Kent is the closest English county to the EU and presently some 10,000 lorries a day cross the Channel via Dover with a further 7,000 a day via Eurotunnel which together represent around 30% f the UK’s trade in goods. Most of these lorries pass through Hollingbourne on the M20 and it expected that the impact of leaving the EU Customs Union will bring significant delays at Dover and Eurotunnel. Accordingly some 12,000 parking spaces for lorries are being created on the M20 between Hollingbourne (J8) and Ashford (J9), at Manston Airport, and on the M26. It seems possible that these arrangements will impact on other traffic in Kent as was the case during Operation Stack in 2015.
The Kent Resilience Forum has been created by Kent Police and local Councils to provide advice on preparing for Brexit and more information is at http://www.kentprepared.org.uk/index.aspx . Hollingbourne Parish Council plans to consider the impact of Brexit on the village at the next Parish Council meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 9th September in the Cardwell Pavilion.
A number of documents have been published by the Kent Resilience Forum over the last year including special advice to Communities, Residents, and People making Journeys which is currently as follows:
Communities: In the event of a no-deal EU exit we anticipate that some communities may experience disruption to local road networks. We are working with local authorities to anticipate and minimise any impact this may have and are encouraging residents to consider how they can build their own resilience:
Residents are encouraged to develop household contingency plans and to put plans in place to ensure they are prepared in the event of an emergency or any likely disruption.
Check your local Borough / District council website and social media channels for localised advice and updates about local services.
Tune into local radio and social media channels for travel updates, guidance and safety messages/ advice.
Check before your travel to ensure you can complete your journey.
Allow extra travel time and consider alternative routes to your destination in the event of a hold up.
If using public transport check for any changes to the service that could affect your journey.
Ensure you take extra food and water, and any prescription medication that may be needed, in the event that your journey is delayed.
The Kent Resilience Forum Brexit website page is http://www.kentprepared.org.uk/page1.aspx?p=15&t=3 and their full information pack can be downloaded at KRF-EU-exit-plan.pdf (14 downloads) This includes the above advice in blue.
No mention in the pack appears to be made of the fact that drivers wishing to take their cars to the EU will need an international driving permit from a main Post Office and a green insurance card from the vehicle insurer. Furthermore the EHIC card which provides emergency medical care will no longer be valid for UK citizens in the EU. It is also possible that due to delays at Customs and because of a possible move to WTO terms and tariffs that some items will be in short supply in the shops and possibly more expensive.
There may also be issues for local farmers including those who export livestock to the EU and any devaluation of the pound will make overseas travel more expensive and higher prices for imported goods and food. Additionally many Kent charities are reliant on money from the EU Social Fund.
As and when more information relevant to Hollingbourne becomes available it will be published on this website.
Pictured below is the logo of the Kent Resilience Forum (top) and M20 London bound contraflow system near Hollingbourne during a test of Operation Brock which will see 2000 lorries parked on the coast bound side of the M20 with no facilities provided for drivers by Highways England (bottom).