No hid­ing place from the chaos on road and rail

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Thom Mor­ris

OP­ER­A­TION Stack was fi­nally lifted on Mon­day af­ter a week­end of travel chaos for mo­torists.

Prob­lems started last Fri­day evening caus­ing traf­fic grid­lock along the M20.

Icy con­di­tions and the loss of ser­vices across the Chan­nel via fer­ries and the Chan­nel Tun­nel left lor­ries stuck and mo­torists were di­verted along the A20. Queues be­gan to build up quickly.

On the last week­end be­fore Christ­mas mo­torists faced miles of tail­backs as they at­tempted to squeeze in last-minute shop­ping.

Po­lice is­sued an ur­gent travel warn­ing to driv­ers to avoid the Folke­stone, Ash­ford and Dover sec­tions of the M20.

Kent Po­lice Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Matthew Nix said: “Many peo­ple have spent a long time in their cars and other ve­hi­cles on the mo­tor­way and the ma­jor routes around the port of Dover and the Chan­nel Tun­nel at Cheri­ton.”

The prob­lems con­tin­ued on Sun­day as pas­sen­gers who were due to travel on Eurotunnel on Satur­day made their way to Folke­stone to get to France.

Stack was lifted at 2.40am on Mon­day morn­ing af­ter po­lice cleared the back­log of freight queu­ing on the M20.

Fresh snow on Mon­day started a fresh week of mis­ery for com­muters.

In Folke­stone many roads be­came treach­er­ous as a fresh cov­er­ing of snow saw mo­torists slip­ping and slid­ing while in Ash­ford as the snow be­gan to thaw roads quickly turned to slush caus­ing cars to skid.

Hun­dreds of trav­ellers were stuck in queues for up to two hours at­tempt­ing to cross the Chan­nel via Eurotunnel.

As cars, vans and lor­ries ap­proached the check­point at Folke­stone ev­ery­thing ground to a halt and trav­ellers faced a wait of up to an hour to get to pass­port con­trol.

One driver try­ing to get to Dis­ney­land with his fam­ily said: “We’ve just been sit­ting here and we’ve moved about 100 yards. Other cars keep pulling out in front of us and switch­ing lanes.”

Mean­while Eurostar pas­sen­gers at St Pan­cras were left at the sta­tion as all ser­vices were can­celled over the week­end.

Pic­ture: Alex Wilder

Long wait: The build-up of lor­ries on the M20 Dover-bound as Op­er­a­tion Stack was brought into force

Pic­ture: Gary Browne PD1657669

Stuck in Stack: This was the scene for M20 coast­bound traf­fic at Junc­tion 11a for the Chan­nel Tun­nel af­ter Op­er­a­tion Stack was launched

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.