• Kent Resilience Forum

HGV drivers reminded of need for Kent Access Permit

HGV drivers are being reminded of the need to obtain a valid Kent Access Permit before entering the county, with traffic levels expected to increase in the days and weeks to come.

The majority of drivers bound for the European Union have been abiding by the regulations introduced following the end of the EU transition period, meaning there has not yet been any significant issues on Kent’s roads. Between New Year’s Day and Wednesday 6 January 2021, 84 enforcement notices were issued by traffic and vehicle examiners from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) working with Kent Police to those drivers identified as entering the county without a permit. A further 29 drivers were found to have breached traffic regulation orders, which include attempting to bypass the Operation Brock queue by accessing the M20 contraflow or using the A20 as an illegal shortcut, and were also issued with enforcement notices. A number of others were also stopped for exceeding their permitted drivers’ hours. HGV drivers must have a Kent Access Permit if they are over 7.5 tonnes and leaving the country via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel. The permit helps manage traffic by confirming drivers have the right documents for EU import controls, and is valid for 24 hours. You can apply for a Kent Access Permit at this link.

Early days

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix is the Chair of the Kent Resilience Forum, a partnership of organisations including Kent Police, Kent County Council and Highways England that has been working closely with Government departments to plan for any traffic disruption resulting from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. ACC Nix said: "Whilst it is still very early days it is encouraging to note that a high percentage of lorry drivers are coming into Kent with a negative Covid-19 test result, which is currently required to travel to France, and a Kent Access Permit.

"Although the volume of freight leaving the UK is typically low at this time of year, the total number of fines issued is still a small percentage of the freight movements that have already been carried out.

"The volume of traffic accessing the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel is expected to increase significantly over the next few weeks, so it remains very important that companies exporting goods via Kent ports know exactly what is required of their drivers before they start their journeys. "We in the Kent Resilience Forum have spent many months planning for the end of the EU transition period and we have appropriate plans in place to deal with any traffic disruption that may occur. We hope everyone planning to access the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel in the weeks and months to come also plays their part to help keep Kent moving." Visit this link for details on what HGV drivers need to do to get their Covid-19 test before leaving the UK for France.

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