Emergency welfare including food and water was handed out to drivers and passengers overnight who were caught up in the ongoing disruption in Kent.
Working with HM Coastguard, React, and Kent Search and Rescue, Kent County Council (KCC) co-ordinated supplies of snack packs and drinks, primarily to tourists queuing on the A20 to get to Eurotunnel.
Because of safety issues, welfare is not usually delivered to those in the queues overnight. However, when it became clear that some of the motorists, including families with small children, had been waiting for many hours, it was important to supply them with emergency snacks and drinks.
The message to anyone heading to Europe through Kent today is to come prepared and ensure that you pack plenty of water, food, and medication and anything else you need to be as comfortable as possible on route to your destination.
Drinking water has been provided by South East Water, and this will continue be handed out through the course of today to those motorists and hauliers who have been queuing for many hours in the ongoing disruption.
KRF Lead for Driver Welfare, Andy Jeffery, said “With drivers facing such significant delays overnight, it was important to deliver supplies to make sure people were safe and well.
“Essential supplies of food and water were distributed to around 1200 vehicles on the A20 approach to Eurotunnel.
“It’s vital that people heading to Kent are aware that we are only ever able to hand out food and drinks to stationary queues, where the risks to motorists and the emergency crews can be minimised, and where drivers have no opportunity to exit the congestion.
“Therefore, the message remains – bring essential supplies if you are heading through Kent and may get stuck in queues. Check your route before you set off and be prepared for delays.”
The welfare of everyone caught up in the disruption is being continually monitored and, since the queues started to build on Thursday, volunteers have been delivering water to anyone stranded, particularly to hauliers caught up in the Brock queues.
The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) has thanked the incredible army of volunteers for giving their time and expertise to help ensure that welfare can be delivered safely where necessary.
Thanks are also being extended to Morrisons supermarket who stepped in yesterday to deliver food for snack packs which can, and will, be handed to anyone who may need them over the coming days.
Andy Jeffery added “In characteristic Kent style everyone is pulling together, and I cannot thank our team enough for their help and support.”
Motorists stuck in the queues today are also being asked to bag up their rubbish to prevent litter reaching the roadside where it can cause a danger to other road users, the environment and wildlife.
KCC Director of Growth, Environment and Transport, Simon Jones, added: “I know people are having a hard time trying to reach their destinations, but I am appealing to everyone help us the minimise the impact of the disruption by disposing of their rubbish in a safe and sensible manner.
“Keeping a bag in your vehicle for waste food packaging and other rubbish is a handy way to stop litter getting onto the road or surrounding verges. Litter and recycling bins are generally available at Eurotunnel and Port of Dover as well as many other locations in Kent. Using these facilities would be greatly appreciated.
“Clearing roadside litter is a dangerous job and whilst an extensive clean-up operation will be carried out once the disruption is over any help you can provide would be fantastic.
“The Kent Resilience Forum continues to do everything it can to reduce the queues and get everyone to their destination as quickly and safely as possible. Help us to help you and don’t leave anything to chance – if you decide to travel, please be prepared.”
Know your route: If you need to travel, please check the latest travel information from:
- National Highways on Twitter
- National Highways website
- Kent Highways on Twitter
- Kent traffic and travel
- Port of Dover on Twitter
- Eurotunnel on Twitter
- Medway Council on Twitter
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