Thinking of a trip to the continent for the festive season? Please book in advance to help avoid any unnecessary delays and keep Kent moving this Christmas.
That is the message from Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) leaders as Operation Brock is set to return to the M20 ahead of the winter getaway.
As at other times of the year, booking forecasts from the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel are assisting KRF partners – including KCC, Kent Police and National Highways – to plan for what looks set to be a couple of busy weekends, particularly after the schools break for the winter holidays.
The contraflow at the heart of the Operation Brock traffic management scheme will be reinstated overnight on 11 December. Traffic flows will be continually monitored throughout the holiday period and Brock will be removed as soon as possible, once the impact of disruption has reduced.
The altered road layout between Junctions 8 and 9 reduces the impact of traffic congestion by directing lorries heading for mainland Europe onto the motorway’s coastbound carriageway. During any potential period of delays the flow of HGVs to the ports can be managed, while all other traffic can continue its journey in both directions using the contraflow.
The installation of Brock means lorries heading to mainland Europe are legally required to follow the signed HGV routes to the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel. The operation is monitored 24 hours a day by the KRF partner agencies.
KRF Strategic Planning Lead Simon Jones, said: “Based on the projected traffic volumes, KRF partners have agreed to implement Operation Brock in order to protect local communities, keep Kent and goods moving as smoothly as possible and give local people the opportunity to reach their destination quickly and safely over the festive period.
“We recognise that the cost-of-living crisis could have an impact on people’s travel plans this year as Covid has had on the past two Christmases. But Kent businesses and venues will be pulling out all the stops this year with some fantastic events and attractions and we want to make sure there is as little disruption as possible.”
Sean Martell, National Highways Head of Service Delivery, said: “Ensuring the smooth flow of traffic through Kent is a top priority and we, along with our fellow Kent Resilience Forum partners, have taken the joint decision to activate the Operation Brock contraflow from the morning of Monday 12 December.
“While we understand this won’t be welcome news for some, the decision was made taking several factors into consideration, including high peak passenger numbers.
“The crucial thing about the contraflow system is that it keeps Kent open and traffic moving in all but the most extreme circumstances. It’s also important that everyone follows the signs. Any HGV freight trying to jump the queue by using Brenley Corner will be turned back.”
People needing to drive in or through Kent this winter should also follow some simple steps to ensure they reach their destination safely including:
- CHECKING your route before you travel
- ALLOWING extra time for your journey
- CHECKING your vehicle’s tyres before you set off to avoid an unnecessary breakdown
- PACKING your car with essentials, including food, water, medicines you take regularly and essentials you may need if travelling with children, as well as blankets and warm clothing.
For where to go for the latest traffic and travel updates in Kent visit: Check before you travel – Kent County Council
For more information on Operation Brock visit National Highways’ website here and for more information about checking your vehicle before travelling visit here
For further details about the Kent Resilience Forum partnership visit the Kent Prepared website