Operation Brock to go live on October 28
Operation Brock, the traffic management scheme to manage any delays to Europe-bound freight in Kent in the event of a no-deal Brexit, will go live on October 28, the Government has announced.
The announcement comes as the Department for Transport launched an information campaign to ensure hauliers know what to expect if they are travelling to the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “We want residents in Kent and hauliers travelling from across the EU to be reassured that there are robust plans in place to deal with any disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“We now need everyone to do their bit – whether you are travelling to see family, heading to work or transporting vital goods around the country, please check before you travel to ensure you know what to expect and have the right documents when heading to the border.”
Hauliers driving during Operation Brock and heading to Europe via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel will need to be on the Operation Brock routes and follow all diversions, instructions and speed restrictions rather than relying on satellite navigation systems.
"They will also need to be ready to show that they have the right paperwork before reaching the border to avoid being turned back – or else risk facing fines and further delays.
"New legislation will help keep them on main routes through Kent and away from local roads – reducing the impact of any disruption on local communities."
Traffic officers in Kent will have new powers from 31 October to ensure hauliers are complying with the Operation Brock system.
Final works in the next week will ensure that the holding areas are ready to be activated on October 28 as Operation Brock goes live.
This means that from 26-27 October there will be overnight closures on the M20 between junctions 7 and 9, so that final preparations can be carried out safely.
Policy Manager for South East England at Freight Transport Association Heidi Skinner said:
“Any move which keeps traffic flowing to and from the coast, and through and around Kent, is to be welcomed in order to keep Britain trading.
“Our members have been asking for clarity on the arrangements for some time, so this news will help them to prepare for a potential no deal Brexit and any resulting traffic disruption which may occur.”
Once Operation Brock goes live, lorries heading for mainland Europe will need to use the coastbound carriageway of the M20 between junctions 8 and 9, with a 30mph speed limit in place.
All other traffic will run on the London-bound carriageway between these junctions, with two lanes in each direction operating at 50mph.
In addition, Highways England is fast-tracking work to ensure that key slip roads at a new junction being created on the M20 near Ashford will be open to traffic by the 31 October.
RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett (pictured above, inset) is satisfied that Operation Brock will be ready in time but insists that the Government must focus on getting hauliers and traders prepared for Brexit as quickly as possible.
He said: “Firms need to know exactly what documentation is required to be Brexit-ready but there are still gaps in the Government’s communications with business.
“Time is running out – we need much clearer guidance on the processes for moving goods across borders if we’re to avoid delays and chaos at Channel ports.”
Posted on: October 21st 2019