Public views on a proposed permanent solution to avoid the need for Operation Stack will be invited during a six-week listening exercise being launched on Monday 11 June, Highways England confirmed today (Wednesday 6 June).
A series of public information events across Kent will be the start of a longer-term consultation process aimed at identifying permanent improvements to how freight traffic is managed when there is disruption to cross channel services in future.
People will be asked whether they would prefer to have an on-road or off-road lorry holding area; or a combination of both on either single or multiple sites. No sites have yet been selected. The public information exercise will also seek views about whether everyday 24-hour lorry parking should be considered as part of a lorry holding area solution. Approximately 900 lorries park illegally or inappropriately across Kent each day.
Highways England project director John Kerner said:
The disruption that people in Kent experienced in the summer of 2015 underlined the need for improvements to how traffic is managed when services across the English Channel are interupted. We now have an opportunity to take a completely fresh look at what a permanent solution to Operation Stack could be, and understanding people’s views will be vital in making sure we can identify the most appropriate outcome. I encourage anyone with an interest to get involved.
Public information events will be held over the six-week period, and information will be published on Highways England’s website as well as being available at any of 27 public information points across the county.
Details of the events are available on the scheme website.
The project team will also visit Motorway Service Areas and truck stops across the area to speak to drivers and seek their views.
The public information exercise follows an announcement by the Department for Transport last month.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.