Tom Brake

Government spends £65k on simulated traffic jam

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

Lorries left from the disused airport
Reuters
Lorries left from the disused airport

The Department for Transport spent between £60,000-£65,000 on a simulated traffic jam through Kent.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling revealed the figures following a parliamentary question submitted by London MP Tom Brake.

On 7 January a convoy of 89 lorries tested the network's readiness to deal with the expected extra congestion caused in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The vehicles gathered at the disused Manston Airport in Thanet, before driving 20 miles to the Port of Dover and back.

However, it was criticised as inadequate preparation for the tailbacks which could ensue if the 10,000 lorries which visit the channel ports every day are subject to additional border checks.

Tom Brake said: "This money would obviously have been better spent on the salaries of two nurses or police officers instead of a hare-brained scheme attempting to simulate the chaos associated with major No Deal linked disruption at Dover."

Mr Grayling said the money was to reimburse hauliers for the operational and time costs, and the owners of Manston airfield for site management.

Undisclosed additional costs would also have been incurred by Kent Police and Kent County Council, he added.

New political party debate: Brake, Allen and Lewis
Tom Brake, Heidi Allen and Clive Lewis on chances of new parties being set up, and possible splits between the existing groupings in Westminster.