‘Check before you travel’ says KRFPublished: 27/05/2022
People travelling to Europe via Kent over the half-term and Platinum Jubilee getaways are urged to help keep the county open for business by checking in with their chosen operator to make sure there’s space before setting off.
The call from Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) partners to take simple steps to avoid being disappointed and turned back at the border follows confirmation from Eurotunnel and Dover ferry operators that all cross-Channel services for Friday to Sunday 27-29 May are very busy. As a result, turn-up-and-go tickets for these dates are no longer available.
Bookings are also high for Wednesday 1, and Thursday 2, June, as the country prepares to celebrate The Queen’s 70-years of public service with a bumper four-day break.
Liverpool Football Club has already worked with travel operators and KRF partners to ensure the team’s supporters heading to the UEFA Champions League final in Paris this Saturday via Dover ferries, and Eurotunnel’s shuttle services, have tickets for their crossings.
As a key gateway to the Continent and a county with great beaches, countryside, shopping, history and culture, Kent’s roads can get very busy with local, tourist and freight traffic.
Driving conditions are currently further impacted by the ongoing reduced P&O ferry capacity at Dover, which has resulted in Operation Brock being used on the M20 to manage the flow of trucks heading to Europe since April.
Traffic controls can also apply at Brenley Corner, at Faversham, to ensure EU-bound HGVs attempting to reach Dover via the M2 are returned to the M20 to re-join the Brock system. This enforcement measure helps keep Dover town free of freight heading to the Continent.
To help Kent’s roads flow as smoothly as possible over this busy period, National Highways has changed the traffic management for its improvement works on the A2070 Bad Munstereifel Road around the Orbital Park, in Ashford. Lifting the single-lane restriction until Monday, 6 June, will help makes things smoother for local traffic and for tourists heading to the coast.
Meanwhile, anyone driving in or through Kent should check their route before travelling, allow plenty of time to get their destination and carry essentials including something to eat, drink, and any regular medication, in case of delays.
Kent Resilience Forum Tactical Lead Toby Howe said: “This weekend, and the eve of the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday, will be very busy on Kent’s cross-Channel routes and people should be prepared.
“If you are travelling to Europe via Kent, make sure you keep up to date with the traffic and travel news, including via @HighwaysSEAST @KentHighways, allow extra time and carry something to drink and eat, so you can be comfortable in delays.
“KRF partners will be meeting regularly throughout this busy period, continually assessing updates from the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel, and National Highways, so we can manage the flow of traffic to the border.
“All traffic management options at our disposal are possible as we work to keep Kent open for business and the county’s roads moving as smoothly as possible.”
For more information about where to find the latest traffic updates in Kent, and for general safe travel tips #EverySingleJourney visit: Check before you travel – Kent County Council
Checking your vehicle’s tyre pressure before starting your trip can also help save fuel and reduce the risk of a breakdown. Read and watch National Highways’ handy guidance here.
Under current plans, National Highways will remove the M20 controls that manage the freight flow heading to Europe at the end of the Jubilee celebrations – overnight Sunday, 5 June. The step will enable works to permanently relocate the moveable barrier at the heart of the Brock road layout to the central reservation to re-start.
More details on Operation Brock are available online. For information about the Kent Resilience Forum partnership see the Kent Prepared website.
Article courtesy of Kent County Council. Image credit; National Highways.