Government In Search For 150 lorries To Test Dover Crossing Congestion

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The system that is designed to minimise the disruption at the border in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Operation Brock, is set to be tested for the first time next week.

A total of 150 HGV lorries will test the route from Manston Airport to Dover as part of the contingency planning of the Department for Transport for the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union in March.

It is worried that a no-deal Brexit could create chaos on the M20 once additional border checks are introduced at the Port of Dover and in Europe.

A spokesperson from the DfT stated: “We do not want or expect a no deal scenario and continue to work hard to deliver a deal with the EU. However, it is the duty of a responsible government to continue to prepare for all eventualities and contingencies, including a possible no deal.”

He added: “We will be testing part of Operation Brock to ensure that, if it needs to be implemented, the system is fully functional.”

The test of Operation Brock is intended to avoid a repeat of road closures that affected the area in 2015 under Operation Stack. It comes as the government ramps up its no-deal Brexit planning and as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to take her withdrawal agreement to a parliamentary vote that is scheduled later this month.

A spokesperson of the Kent County Council, stated: “We are working with the Department for Transport to ensure there is an effective plan in place should there be any disruption once the UK has left the EU.”

He added: “Operation Brock has been designed to ensure that, unlike Operation Stack, the M20 will be kept open and traffic will continue to flow in both directions at times of cross-Channel disruption.”

He continued: “Work on this new approach, Operation Brock, would have taken place regardless of the result of the referendum, to improve contingency arrangements for a range of scenarios which could result in cross-Channel disruption, including bad weather and industrial action.”