Brock barrier returns as precaution against major disruption
Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) leaders have thanked residents, businesses, drivers and hauliers for their patience as the Brock contraflow has been put back into operation on the M20.
The precautionary move was made overnight on Monday (21 March) as P&O ferry services out of the Port of Dover are set to remain suspended for at least 10 days, increasing the risk of queues and congestion on Kent’s cross-Channel routes.
The contraflow, which is created by National Highways’ moveable barrier, runs along the 16-mile stretch of carriageway between Junctions 8 and 9.
The altered road layout reduces the impact of major disruption by directing lorries heading for mainland Europe onto the motorway’s coastbound carriageway, where they can be queued if necessary, while all other traffic can continue on its journey in both directions.
The installation of Brock means lorries heading to the Continent are legally required to follow the signed HGV routes to the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.
KRF Strategic Planning Lead, Kent County Council Corporate Director for Growth, Environment and Transport Simon Jones, said: “Given the ongoing suspension of P&O services, KRF partners have agreed to implement the Brock contraflow.
“Collectively, we believe this is best way to protect local communities, keep Kent and goods moving as smoothly as possible and give people the opportunity to reach their destination quickly and safely.
“We are committed to keeping the deployment of the barrier under constant review and removing it as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I would like to thank everyone for their patience during this time.”
Nicola Bell, Highways England Regional Director, said: “Ensuring the smooth flow of traffic in Kent is a top priority and along with our Kent Resilience Forum partners believe Operation Brock to be the best way to allow the local communities and businesses to go about their daily business with minimal disruption.
“We’ve seen in the past how the moveable barrier on the M20 works well, enabling the steady flow of freight into Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover whist ensuring motorists can get to where they need to with minimum fuss, whatever the circumstances. I would urge hauliers to follow the signs on the M20 and stick to the official route.”
To avoid leaving things to chance, KRF partners are also advising people driving in or through Kent to continue being prepared for delays by following simple steps including:
CHECKING your route before you travel
ALLOWING extra time to get to your destination
CHECKING your vehicle before you set off. Most breakdowns are avoidable and checking your tyres, lights, fuel, oil and water can help you have a safer, smoother journey
PACKING your car with essentials, including food, water, medicines you take regularly and essentials you may need if travelling with children, and
ENSURING you have at least six months left on your passport, to avoid being turned back at Kent ports.
For where to go for the latest traffic and travel updates in Kent visit: Check before you travel – Kent County Council