The Department of Transport has today announced that Operation Brock will be ready to go live at 6am on 28th October if it appears that the UK will be leaving the EU Customs Union on 31st October It was previously expected that Operation Brock might start on 21st October ready for a possible Brexit at the end of October.
If Operation Brock goes live, the London bound side of the M20 from Junction 9 at Ashford to Junction 9 in Hollingbourne will be used for a contraflow system for non EU bound freight traffic. The contraflow system has a 50mph speed limit with no refuges for drivers in the event of accidents or breakdowns. As and when there are incidents the traffic will be funnelled on to the A20.
The 13 mile long coastbound side will be used to store up 2000 lorries awaiting Customs at Dover and Eurotunnel for possibly two days with no facilities for stranded drivers. This is because the UK will leave the EU Customs Union and drivers arriving at Dover and Eurotunnel without the necessary paperwork for the new Customs checks will be fined £300. Other lorries may be stored at Manston Airport and on the M26.
When Operation Brock starts the coastbound access to the M20 at Junction 8 will be closed and drivers from the Motorway Service Area and the A20 who wish to go coastbound on the M20 will have to drive back to Junction 7 in order to access the motorway. A possible affect of this may to increase traffic volumes on Junction 8 which could affect access from the A20. There are already tailbacks on the A20 and on surrounding roads at times and concern has been expressed by many Hollingbourne parents about the lack of a crossing on the A20 between the two bus stops at Hollingbourne Corner which are used by schoolchildren amongst others. A petition for action on this matter to KCC that was organised by the Parish Council had no effect. Please see https://hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/petition-launched-for-safer-crossing-on-a20ashford-road/
More information is at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/operation-brock-kent-traffic-management-on-m20-to-dover-and-eurotunnel The Highways Agency is reporting recruiting 50 people to work for at least two months from 28th October who will be assisting with Operation Brock. No other information is currently available.
Parliament is due to meet on Saturday 19th October to consider Brexit including whether Operation Brock will actually happen and our local MP can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org . While Parliament is sitting there will be a People’s Vote March and Rally in London. Previous ones have been supported by a number of Hollingbourne residents. More information is at https://www.peoples-vote.uk/
Highways England have today advised about Operation Brock:
Highways England have plans to reactivate Operation BROCK as we approach the 31st Oct 2019 date and we are working with our supply chain and the DfT and will communicate our plans shortly. Further information about Operation Brock can be found online at: https://highwaysengland.co.uk/OperationBrock/
With regards to stranded vehicles. We work closely with the police, other emergency services and our supply chain to ensure that incidents can be accessed as quickly and safely as possible.
There is 100% CCTV coverage through M20 Brock, which is monitored 24/7. This means that any accidents or breakdowns can be spotted quickly. We have enhanced levels of free vehicle recovery to remove customers and vehicles to a place of safety. We also have additional traffic officer patrols, incident support services, and a number of locations where access can be gained to more complex incidents through emergency access gates in the barrier itself.
If there is anything else we can help you with, in relation to M20 Brock, please contact us on the email address: M20TemporarySolution@highwaysengland.co.uk.
Pictured below is a plan of how Operation Brock could operate.