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Maidstone faces gridlock as Government proposes lorry parking on M20

May 18, 2018 1:59 PM
Originally published by Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

Maidstone will face severe congestion under new plans to park lorries along one side of the M20, forcing other traffic onto the opposite carriageway, Kent Liberal Democrats have warned.

The Government's latest scheme to cope with freight delays caused by post-Brexit border issues is to use the southbound Rob Birdcarriageway of the M20 between junctions 8 & 9 to park lorries destined for Europe. Other traffic would be diverted onto the northbound carriageway in a contra-flow system.

Kent Liberal Democrats argue the plan, known as 'Operation Brock', will cause a severe bottleneck, gridlocking Maidstone town centre and the surrounding roads.

Maidstone councillor and leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at County Hall, Rob Bird, says The Department for Transport and Highways England need to think again.

"Operation Brock should be renamed Operation Block" said Rob.

"Contra-flow systems almost always result in a lengthy tail-back of traffic queuing to get into the contra-flow itself. This problem will be particularly acute in the stretch of the M20 from junctions 4 to 8 around Maidstone which is already one of the heaviest used roads in Kent.

"Whenever there is an incident on the M20 extra traffic is pushed through Maidstone, causing gridlock in the town centre and the major arteries. I fear that Operation Brock will be a disaster for Maidstone's residents and businesses.

"The Department for Transport and Highways England need to think again."