Operation Stack is used to park HGVs on the M20 and can affect 35 miles of the motorway. The system is normally used during cross-Channel disruption, and has been implemented on 15 occasions in the past five weeks causing subsequent chaos in Kent not only for freight operators, but also for residents, tourist traffic and local businesses.
The Minister announced a series of actions the Department for Transport (DfT) will take, building on the Prime Minister’s announcement following COBR on coordinated work by government to address the disruption in Dover and Coquelles.
In partnership with Kent County Council, Kent Police and Highways England, DfT will:
- Look at how to improve the effectiveness of diversion routes
- Improve communication by providing greater information to the haulage sector including better use of signs
- Urgently review the prioritisation of perishable goods, to maintain these valuable exports.
Mr Jones said: “I am very concerned about the impact being felt by the community in Kent and I want to reassure all those affected that the government is actively pursuing measures to help. I met members of Kent County Council, Kent Police, Highways England and others today who have been working hard to find short, medium and longer-term solutions to the management of freight to and from the Channel Tunnel.
“We all want to see Calais and the Channel Tunnel operating as normal and people on both sides of the Channel able to go about their business without disruption. I am offering the government’s full support to Kent.”
The Minister’s summit follows a PM-chaired COBR meeting after which a range of new measures were announced.