Kent

Operation Stack lorry park plans revealed

Operation Stack Image copyright PA
Image caption Operation Stack was imposed 32 times last summer, prompted by disruption caused by French ferry staff strikes and by migrants trying to reach the UK

Two potential sites for a lorry park to deal with disruption on the M20 motorway in Kent have been revealed.

Either site would help prevent the need for Operation Stack, when the motorway is closed during cross-channel disruption, Highways England (HE) said.

Both sites are to the north of the M20 at junction 11, close to Westenhanger, and would ease Eurotunnel and Dover port disruption, HE said.

Chancellor George Osborne has allocated £250m to pay for the lorry park.

A public consultation on the plans launches later and will run until 22 January.

Image copyright Highways England
Image caption The proposed lorry parks are to the north of the M20 near Stanford and Westenhanger

Kevin Bown, of HE, said: "A lorry area could help significantly reduce the likelihood of having to close the M20 in the future and also has the potential to improve facilities for lorries across the county in general."

Mr Bown said possible uses of the site could range from emergency use only to providing 24-hour truck-stop facilities.

'Misery for 20 years'

Operation Stack was used 32 times last summer, following strikes by French ferry workers, migrant activity disrupting cross-Channel rail operations and causing congestion across the Kent road network.

Councillor David Monk, leader of Shepway District Council, welcomed the plans saying Operation Stack had "caused misery" for more than 20 years.

"If the solution can stop lorries clogging up local roads and ruining residents lives by parking in communities across Shepway, I am all for it," he said.

Events to display the plans and invite comments on how the site should be operated will be held on Saturday in Sellindge.

Similar events taking place in Ashford, Folkestone, Hawkinge and Dover in the next few weeks.

"I urge all residents to take this opportunity to have their say," Mr Monk said.

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