Hollingbourne MP Mrs Helen Whately has circulated a letter from Highways England about the Operation Brock contraflow system between Ashford and Hollingbourne following complaints from a large number of her constituents.
The London bound side of the M20 has been divided into two so it can be used as a contraflow system if the UK leaves the EU Customs Union after Brexit and thousands of lorries have to be stored on the M20 coastbound while they are awaiting Customs at Dover or Eurotunnel. Additional storage facilities are at Manston Airport and on the M26 but the 13 mile section from Junction 8 at Hollingbourne to Junction 9 in Ashford will be the first storage area to be activated. Highways England have previously advised that there will be no facilities for drivers stuck on the M20.
Meanwhile only the strengthened hard shoulder and the nearside lanes are being used for London bound traffic. Despite a 50 mph speed limit accidents appear to happen almost daily and two of the concerns is that there are no refuges for affected drivers and that emergency vehicle access is difficult. Many Hollingbourne residents who live on the Ashford Road (A20) and who have homes that back on to the M20, have complained about the noise and rubbish from drivers since the contraflow barrier was built. Additionally when Operation Brock is activated to allow lorry storage, the Junction 8 Coastbound slip road is closed which causes further inconvenience to drivers.
The letter dated 15th May 2019 which was circulated by Mrs Whately on 5th June appears below.
Mrs Whately can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org