The question that must be answered
THE comments of Kent County Council leader Paul Carter on proposals for a lorry park between Aldington and Sellindge continue to give concern and these are not helped by apparently contradictory statements from within KCC. The key question for local opponents of the proposal is an indication that every alternative to this site had been fully considered and why this site should be the only answer. Despite the question being raised by both private and public bodies, a satisfactory explanation has not been given. Is there any reason why the public should not know of the 10 other sites that were assessed and why naming such sites would unnecessarily blight those areas? It would also be helpful to know that even if Aldington/ Smeeth was the only ultimate practical place for a park on what freight, volume and growth estimates the sites would be considered suitable, as calculations suggest that even in the very early days of operation, the site would be too small to cope with the requirements of either overnight lorry parking or Operation Stack. The final question is inevitably one of cost. Is this to be borne locally by Kent ratepayers? As this is a national, even a European problem, the cost should be met by central government. Are there any indications that such financing would be forthcoming? John Rogers, by email.
I DRIVE down the A2 quite frequently, and have watched the new section near Gravesend being built. I have also watched for months the old section being ripped up and landscaped. Why wasn’t that old section used for Operation Stack? There was about three miles of six-lane carriageway, complete with drainage, that could have easily been adapted for parking trucks. It would also have saved millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money by not doing the landscaping. But the main point is that it would have also saved the millions of pounds that Kent County Council is going to spend concreting over acres of farmland at Aldington. Mick Carr, Kennington.
IT IS time that the socalled Aldington lorry park was returned to its rightful owner – the Dover Port Authority. The reality is that the Port of Dover has grown enormously in strategic importance for Britain, as patterns of trade have changed, but that so far little effort has been dedicated to build an adequate infrastructure around the port. A proper inquiry should be set up to decide on the future needs of the Port of Dover, with particular emphasis on infrastructure. As part of this study, proper alternative sites should be proposed for the lorry park, and pros and cons sensibly discussed and evaluated. There is no doubt that the best alternative site would be around the Port of Dover, on land where available. Such a process would ensure that a cobbled and ad hoc approach would be avoided. It would also help lay to rest rumours, currently circulating in the community, that commercial interests are behind the choice of the Aldington site. S. Lecchini, Aldington.