Buf­fer zones are long-term so­lu­tion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

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.

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