Discussions regarding the planning and development of a large lorry park in Kent to use while Operation Stack takes place have begun. Six weeks of consultation will end on September 23rd, during which time the final design of the new lorry park would have been agreed and ready for development in the Stanford West lorry area.
It is estimated the park will cost around £250m to be developed, keeping the M20 moving faster while cross-channel services suffer disruptions.
The proposal is taking place after Kent roads suffered 32 days of disruption in 2015.
Operation Stack is a way of handling disruptions to traffic in the area, meaning lorries park along a closed M20.
Highways England told reporters they will hear feedback from residents and businesses to lower the impact the site’s construction will have on the local area. The site was selected after discussions took place regarding the base across December to January, consultations are now in the final stage before development.
Opeartion stack in full flow last summer
Project director of Highways England: Adrian Sheppard stated: “This is a solution to the problems caused by Operation Stack that has been talked about for decades, but on which we have made a great deal of progress less than a year.”
“Rural Stanford is selected as government's preferred site for huge new lorry park. Following our consultation earlier this year we have been working hard to refine our plans and are now keen to hear what people think about these. I encourage anyone who would like to understand more or ask questions to visit us at one of the public exhibitions we are holding.”
Around 3,600 lorries will park in the new facility during disruptions, meaning minimal impact for the M20 along with other roads across the region making the journey simpler for drivers in the area.
Highways England have gained support from consults as well as the community, they are now in talks of using the site as an overnight stop for HGV drivers following the disruptions. Which will mean less issues on the roads not intended for lorry use. Construction is due to start shortly, meaning more spaces for HGVs in Kent by summer next year.
For more information please visit https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/managing-freight-vehicles-through-kent
With the demand from truckers for better facilities, if positive feedback is received from trafficking and the industry the Government may plan further development for facilities like this to help traffic on the roads nationwide, which would be a huge step forward for the haulage industry providing satisfactory facilities for HGV drivers.