Operation Brock halted after Brexit delay

Published: 15 April 2019

Operation Brock halted after Brexit delay
Operation Brock, which was introduced as a means of controlling traffic aiming to cross the English Channel, will now be lifted – work will take place to get the M20 operating at its usual rate without Operation Brock in place. This is following the announcement from Prime Minister, Theresa May that Brexit will be delayed to October 31st, 2019. The outcome has been called a “diplomatic failure” by May’s fellow MPs.

Operation Brock was put into action on March 25th, set to tackle any traffic flow that could occur if a no-deal Brexit were to take place on March 29th. This raised many concerns for national/international hauliers who faced uncertainty of the implications for Brexit if they were to trade in various countries, or continue operating within the UK if they are based elsewhere. With a lack of communication throughout the process, the approach of Operation Brock and management from government officials left many in the haulage industry, including members of the RHA feeling concerned that the country wasn’t prepared for some of the implications that could effect the haulage industry.
The operation saw dedicated lanes put in place on the M20 for lorry drivers approaching Dover, planning to use the port to cross the English Channel into France. Highways England spoke on the matter saying they will be hard at work overnight while they begin to “deactivate” the system in place.
The three lanes will be reverted to their original 70MPH speed limit, with London-bound traffic restricted to 50MPH in two lanes, explained a Highways England spokesman. They added that some sections would be closed overnight so work could be completed “in time for the Easter getaway”.
MP for Ashford: Damian Green demanded Operation Brock be put on hold and all current procedures be suspended until further notice. 

Elaborating, he stated: "There is simply no need to have it there and it causes inconvenience. A lot of people have complained that the road is much less safe, because it is narrower and there are concrete barriers on it."
Spokesman for Highways England, Duncan Smith released a statement: “The deployment of the contraflow on the M20 has been a prudent measure reflecting the threat of potential disruption. Scaling it back now is a sensible response to the changing outlook, and restores capacity on the motorway in time for the Easter bank holiday weekend."

While this could only lead to more uncertainty in the future, it’s safe to say many hauliers are relieved Operation Brock has been suspended and they can now resume international trade as usual for the time-being.
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