‘Greenies and grumblers’ are blocking road plans, says MP
“Greenies and grumblers” are stalling vital road improvements needed in preparation for Brexit.
That’s the message from Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke in the week after Prime Minister Theresa May signed Article 50 to start the process of Britain leaving the EU.
Mr Elphicke in particular complained of obstacles against the planned M20 lorry park.
He said: “The M20 lorry park, which we need to prevent the entire road system breaking down, in the event of port problems, is under threat.
“Vested interests – greenies and grumblers who don’t care what’s best for Dover and Deal, are seeking to stop it.”
The scheme is for Stanford in Shepway and follows repeated gridlock in the summer of 2015 from a combination of French workers’ strikes and migrant disruption.
Operation Stack has regularly had to be used over the years, turning the motorway into a lorry park because of bad weather and strikes on the Continent.
The plans for Stanford has led to a mass protest movement, leading to the setting up of a judicial review due in London for June 27 and 28.
The £250 million lorry park is planned off junction 11, the turnoff for Hythe, and would be twice the size of Disneyland in California.
The main protesters against it are local people in the pressure group SOS (Smarter Options than Stanford) Kent, led by Stanford Parish Council.
Mr Elphicke also complains that the Lower Thames Crossing linking Kent and Essex is entering its third decade of planning.
He added that the dualling ofthe A2, axed by Tony Blair’s Labour government, must go back on the table.
Mr Elphicke added: “Europe is only part of the problem. In many ways our Computer images of the proposals for how the proposed M20 lorry park could look after designs were drawn up by Highways England greatest problems are that we create gridlock at Dover means gridlock for for ourselves. the UK economy too.
“It takes years to build even the sim“Key roads need to be upgraded plest road because there are so many right now.” vested interests seeking to stop any SOS Kent press officer Sharon Haywork being done. Ask any driver and les said: “The third Thames crossing they’ll tell your our roads are simply will send traffic down the M2 comnot up to the job.” pletely bypassing the proposed M20
Mr Elphicke said that he was lorry park. therefore not surprised that Michel “How will an Operation Stack Barnier, Europe’s chief Brexit negotirelief lorry park solve a problem, ator, claims there would be queues on which is yet to raise its head? I feel the roads to Dover and Deal if there Mr Elphicke is being alarmist. After was no deal. all, the sky didn’t fall in after Brexit,”
He said: “The simple truth is that SOS Kent argues that the lorry park, for 3,600 vehicles, would destroy 250 acres of prime farmland from Stanford to Sellindge.
They also argue that additional fencing has been put up on Calais to stop migrant breakthroughs and Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover have provided hundreds more lorry spaces and increased cross Channel capacity.
They also fear this could be the thin end of the wedge for similar developments.
The group also argues that Operation Stack has not been being needed since summer 2015 yet, the lorry park is being pushed ahead regardless, without a full Environmental Impact Assessment.
‘The simple truth is that gridlock at Dover means gridlock for the UK economy too.’
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Operation Stack on the M20 approaching Junction 9 for Ashford
Dover Western Docks and Cruise Terminal is vital to the UK economy
Fields near Standford that could become the Operation Stack lorry park