Lorry park site is less than perfect
I HAVE had a view of an admittedly censored draft report of Kent County Council’s “improvement options for Operation Stack”. Unfortunately KCC has seen fit to exclude the names of the other potential sites. But it would seem from their own assessment the preferred site to the south of the M20 Sellidnge converter station may be less than perfect, as “the geology of the area suggest poor foundations and there are large areas of water adjacent to the site with a high potential for great crested newts”. It may also be of interest to readers that KCC also have a proposal for developing an area to the north of the service station, ie, adjacent to the A20 as an additional parking buffer zone. And this perhaps would lay weight to the original suggestion that their proposed solution is nothing more than a plan to industrialise the East Stour Valley. They also suggest a hybrid option involving the quick movable barrier and also usage of the A20 between Folkestone and Dover. This combined proposal offers parking for some 7,300 lorries at a cost of £26 million, ie: virtually twice the capacity of their preferred option at just over half the cost. A further advantage of ensuring the stacking area was closer to Dover Harbour would mean that we would no longer have the ludicrous situation of the ferries leaving half-empty because of the length of time it takes for the police to bring the lorries from the current stacking area to Dover. J. O. Davies, Smeeth, Ashford.
I WAS concerned by the letter from KCC leader Paul Carter in which he says, among other things, that he has personally been involved in a search for a site for the proposed lorry park. Since he headed the KCC education portfolio at the time the site was being chosen, I don’t believe he would have devoted much time to it. The more I learn the more convinced I am that the whole thing has just been clubbed together without much thought or proper consideration of a genuine long term solution. KCC is ‘making do’ in a haphazard fashion. I believe the mistake Mr Carter is making is that he sees it as a local problem, when in fact it is a much more fundamental issue. Dover is, de facto, Britain’s largest port and with a large volume of expanding traffic with the EU, which is also Britain’s largest trading partner. This is reason enough for central Government involvement. An important port needs a whole infrastructure support which is basically lacking in Dover. A major lorry park is indeed part of this infrastructure. Perhaps Mr Carter should visit the port of Calais, where on the main apron there is enough room for more than a lorry park. Vera Lecchini, Aldington.