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Brock to return as busy bank holiday and half term forecast

Published: 17/05/2023
Traffic on a motorway

The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) says the Operation Brock contraflow system on the M20 will be deployed this coming weekend ahead of the Spring bank holiday and expected high passenger numbers heading through Kent to Europe.

The contraflow system between junctions 8 & 9 on the M20 will be activated at 6am on Sunday 21 May after work to install it overnight on Saturday 20 May.

Operation Brock enables strict management of HGVs on the M20 if necessary, acting as a pressure valve to minimise the impact of congestion further down the motorway, whilst allowing traffic to continue in both directions through a contraflow system.

The decision by the KRF, made up of a group of organisations and agencies including Kent County Council and Kent Police in conjunction with National Highways, has been driven by significantly increased cross channel bookings for tourist traffic over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend.

The other risk factor that has led to the decision to install Operation Brock ahead of the Bank holiday is the ongoing closures of the Roundhill Tunnel on the A20 at Folkestone. If Brock is not active, and there are delays at the Port of Dover, this has a knock-on effect on the surrounding roads and can also impact traffic flow into the Eurotunnel terminal.

Should traffic start to build at the Port and/or Eurotunnel, the KRF is advising drivers to check their route before setting off, allow extra time for the journey and pack the car with a few essentials including food, water, regular medication and anything else your family may need if caught up in traffic.

KRF Strategic Lead, Simon Jones, said “The passenger forecasts from both Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover indicate an extremely busy period for cross channel traffic over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May.

“This also coincides with schools in the UK breaking up for half term, and we know that many families will be heading across the channel to enjoy holidays in Europe.

“The KRF decision to install Brock to deal with any delays has not been taken lightly. It is informed by data from the cross-channel providers and the Department for Transport, and the contraflow will help to minimise any disruption if any delays occur.

“Our aim is always to do everything we can to get people to where they want to be as safely and as quickly as possible. Until more permanent solutions are found to tackle disruption on Kent roads and access to the Port of Dover, Operation Brock is the only tool we have to keep traffic moving through the county.”

The Operation Brock contraflow is expected to remain in place until the weekend of the 3 and 4 June.

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