Maidstone Borough Council in conjunction with the Kent Resilience Forum has invited representatives from Hollingbourne Parish Council and other local Parish Councils to attend a meeting on the morning of 16th October where the possible impact of Brexit and leaving the EU on local communities will be considered.
Since the EU Referendum in 2016 Hollingbourne Parish Council has been contacted by a number of media organisations who have been interested in the effects on the local community of Brexit and of Operation Brock in particular.
At the September Parish Council meeting local MBC Councillor Patrik Garten indicated that weekly house to house refuse collections may cease because of traffic issues and that villagers would be expected to take their rubbish to a central collection point that is yet to be identified. Other local services may be affected.
Operation Brock is expected to start on 21st October when Junction 8 of the M29 will be partially closed which will mean that coastbound vehicles will have to go to Junction 7 in order to do a U- turn to regain the coastbound carriageway. The M20 between Junction 8 and 9 will be used to store up to 2000 lorries awaiting Customs at Dover and Eurotunnel if the UK leaves the EU Customs Union after Brexit and if the Customs processing time increases from 2 minutes to over 20 minutes. Highways England have advised that there will be no facilities for lorry drivers who could be stranded for up to two days. This may include no drinking water and no waste removal as appropriate.
It is expected that the part closure of Junction 8 will bring local traffic issues especially if the two lane London bound contraflow system on the M20 has a problem and traffic is diverted on to the A20. Already there is a queue most mornings from Hollingbourne on to the M20.
Coincidentally on the evening of 15th October the Annual Kent Rail Summit will be held in County Hall at which Hollingbourne Parish Council will also be represented. All local Councils in Kent are invited to attend and presentations are given by South East Trains, KCC, and others. In previous years the state of Hollingbourne Station and Station Lane has been raised with the relevant senior management. Fare prices have also been discussed especially as the local cost per passenger mile is more expensive that in other parts of the UK.
Reports of both events will be published in due course.
If you are affected by any of these issues which are outside the control of Hollingbourne Parish Council, any comments should be sent to our local MP at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured below is the Maidstone Town Hall which is the venue for the Brexit planning meeting.