County council sets its sights on lorry holding sites
Hauliers have urged the government to “seize the moment” and accept a £468 million package of measures that could solve Operation Stack.
A working group has put forward the multimillion-pound masterplan following the prolonged period of disruption over the summer.
Kent County Council has confirmed it is looking at possible sites for a lorry holding area for up to 4,000 lorries close to the M20 – one of the key proposals.
Barbara Cooper, the authority’s economic development director, told county councillors discussing the idea yesterday (Wednesday): “There are sites being looked at but we cannot say where because negotiations are going on. We do have options and the government is very keen that we see progress on some of these by next April.”
Natalie Chapman, head of policy at the Freight Transport Association, said: “There is certainly a feeling we need to use the time to get some real solutions because this is something that will rear its head again.
“What we do know is that the impact does not stop at the M20.
“It is on the national economy, and when the government in Scotland takes an interest, you know this is not just a problem for the south east and Kent.
“What we ideally want is somewhere for HGVs to park up off the M20, on a site that needs to be close, and something which allows traffic to keep moving.”
Haulage groups estimated the summer disruption cost those companies caught up in the operation £700,000 a day and £250m to the UK economy as a whole.