Op Stack lorry park plan no so­lu­tion – Euro­tun­nel

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Southeastern Survey - By Paul Fran­cis

Plans for a huge lorry park to deal with Op­er­a­tion Stack are be­ing ques­tioned by Euro­tun­nel, which says it will not pro­vide the so­lu­tion to the prob­lem.

The com­pany has set out its con­cerns as part of a sub­mis­sion to High­ways Eng­land. It is weigh­ing up op­tions af­ter a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on two op­tions for a lorry park on a site off the M20 near Stan­ford, Folke­stone.

Spokesman John Keefe said the com­pany’s sub­mis­sion had raised sev­eral is­sues about the £250m scheme.

He said: “We do not be­lieve that the lorry park so­lu­tion is the way to to deal with Op­er­a­tion Stack. Last year was an un­prece­dented year with the mi­grant ac­tiv­ity around the port of Calais. Since that is­sue has been re­solved, we have not had Op­er­a­tion Stack in place once.”

He added the com­pany had taken ac­tion it­self to help ex­tend the ca­pac­ity of the Cheri­ton ter­mi­nal. It was also in­creas­ing the num­ber of freight trains that meant freight de­par­tures ev­ery seven and a half min­utes com­pared to ev­ery 10 min­utes.

“We do not think that tak­ing traf­fic off the road and sit­u­at­ing it on a hold­ing area is go­ing to ben­e­fit any­body. There has been con­fu­sion over be­tween two things: Op­er­a­tion Stack and the prob­lem of overnight park­ing, which is not re­lated to Op­er­a­tion Stack.”

The prob­lems could be ad­dressed by us­ing other parts of the mo­tor­way net­work and in­creas­ing the ca­pac­ity by adding ex­tra lanes, he added.

“It is about look­ing at the big­ger pic­ture if you are spend­ing £250m on some­thing that stops traf­fic and hold­ing it on a site off the mo­tor­way.”

The op­tion of dualling sin­gle­lane stretches of the A2 should be part of a wider strat­egy, he added.

High­ways Eng­land is ex­pected to an­nounce which of the two lorry park op­tions it favours shortly.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

Op­er­a­tion Stack in place on the M20 near Ash­ford

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