Feature, Freight News, Road

Kent consults on lorry park sites

[ December 11, 2015   //   ]

A new lorry park in Kent would ease the disruption caused by Operation Stack and provide much-needed facilities for truck drivers said the Freight Transport Association (FTA) as Highways England launched a consultation on the plan.
Two sites near junction 11 of the M20 at Stanford are being considered for an emergency facility when there are delays in Dover or at Eurotunnel. The chosen site may also be a permanent lorry park as well as accommodating the Dover TAP system which avoids lorries queueing through the town when the Port of Dover is full.
Under TAP, port-bound lorries are queued in the nearside lane of the A20 approaching Dover, forming a “rolling road” with lorries entering the town and port as capacity allows. It was introduced as a trial in April 2015 and has been used regularly ever since. It is not to be confused with Operation Stack, which uses the M20 as a lorry parking area during times of severe disruption.
FTA’s head of policy for London and the South East, Natalie Chapman, said: “Kent desperately needs overnight facilities for lorry drivers to reduce the problem of trucks parking in villages and residential areas. We would urge Highways England to act quickly and consider providing a day-to-day facility for drivers that can also be used in emergencies instead of the Dover TAP and Operation Stack.
“Being stuck on the motorway in a slow-moving queue plays havoc with drivers’ hours and rest breaks so a dedicated waiting area is vital, but it’s also important that the lorries can be moved in and out of the lorry park to access the port and Eurotunnel when spaces are available so that ferries and trains are filled to capacity.”
The Chancellor announced £250,000 of funding for a solution to Operation Stack in his Autumn Statement. Highways England’s proposal would create parking for at least 3,600 trucks and consultation continue until 25 January, says FTA.
Various options are being considered for the two sites, including using them for emergencies only; at other times of disruption; for overnight parking as well as during disruption; or as a permanent, fully-serviced truckstop. Both sites would impact to some extent on local residents, enivornment and landscape.
The M20 was closed for 28 days during a torrid summer for the cross-Channel freight industry with truck drivers stranded on the motorway for hours with no facilities. During this time, the recently closed airport at Manston near Ramsgate was used for emergency parking, but Highways England says it is not ideally located – it cannot serve Eurotunnel – and does not provide any more than a short-term interim relief measure.
A number of exhibitions are being held at locations in Kent up to and including 12 January. The consultation period runs until 25 January 2016; full details can be found at:

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