Press release

Changes to road layout along the A20 in Dover

Work to change the way that traffic approaches the Port of Dover will begin tonight (26 March)


The Highways Agency, together with the Port of Dover, Kent and Dover Councils, Kent Police and hauliers groups have been working on changes to help the traffic flow on the A20 approaching and through Dover.

At times when the port is especially busy, queuing traffic can form along the A20 through Dover. Traffic arrangements will be changed for traffic heading to the Port of Dover, with the aim of achieving better traffic flows in the future. Traffic will be filtered into two lanes on A20 outside of the town, and at times when the port is busy, traffic signals will hold traffic on the A20 until there is a clear route to the port entrance.

Highways Agency Asset Manager Kevin Bown said:

Dover is an international transport gateway, and the Highways Agency is absolutely committed to playing its part in continuing to enable traffic to flow efficiently to and from the port.

That’s why we are working hard with the Port of Dover and Dover District Council to help make sure that traffic arriving at the port is optimised, while at the same time protecting local roads in and around Dover town centre form unnecessary congestion and pollution.

The changes being introduced will give us data to assess options to achieve better traffic flows. We will take forward the options, together with our partners, and aim to have real benefits for people living and working in Dover.

Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said:

The Port has been playing its part in developing plans to keep Dover, the Port and the UK economy moving. Together we hope to find a solution to address the impact that the growing economy is having on increasing traffic through Dover.

Through such excellent partnership working, as demonstrated at a recent meeting of the Port and Community Forum attended by all the key players, we are going to make a difference and I look forward to seeing the effects of these new traffic arrangements in the coming months.

The system will be installed by the Highways Agency and will be in place early in April. It will be operated by the Port of Dover at times of high demand with the aim of reducing queues on the A20 through Dover.

Traffic lights will be installed near the end of the A20, prior to the Western Heights roundabout, to hold vehicles until there is space within the port to accommodate them. Using technology, the Port will be able to ensure that Port bound HGVs only use this route unless they have special permission to do otherwise.

Traffic will be separated on the approach to the traffic lights, with freight using the left hand lane and all other traffic in the right hand side lane.

To maintain safety while we collect the data on the coastbound A20:

  • a reduced speed limit will be applied
  • an HGV overtaking ban will be in place
  • two lay-bys will be closed
  • the system will be monitored by cameras

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 26 March 2015