Buffer zones are long-term solution
THIS week may see the introduction of what has been described as Dover’s mini Operation Stack, the queueing of trucks on the A20 between Samphire Hoe and Court Wood. Unlike sections of the M20 used for Operation Stack, the A20 is only a two-lane dual carriageway, so one line of trucks is all that could be accommodated – and what happens to other traffic, one lane maintained, or diverted? This comes the same week as news that the very expensive moveable barrier further up the M20 is not proving very effective at maintaining traffic flow, and many drivers are taking their own diversions. At the end of the day, anything that alleviates the problem of trucks jamming central Dover is better than nothing, and I hope this idea works. However, it must not be seen as a permanent solution. It is at best an emergency stopgap measure that should be used only as and when necessary. Also, do I detect just the slightest whiff of opportunistic hypocrisy here? The stretch of road where trucks are to be “stacked” is precisely the same place where Dover Harbour Board wanted to put a more permanent “buffer zone” lorry park, but were prevented by local opposition. It is, apparently, all right to park queues here on the carriageway but not to have them parked just off that same carriageway. For the record: the Kent branch of The Association of British Drivers will support as longerterm solutions two buffer zones (the second being on a vastly improved A2) as envisaged by Dover Harbour Board AND more parking areas further inland, starting with the Aldington one as envisaged by Kent County Council. Ian Taylor, Association of British Drivers (Kent branch), Castlemount Road, Dover.