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Newspaper Columns

KM Column - 14 June 2018 - Operation Stack Consultation

We all know the disruption that Operation Stack caused in the summer of 2015. Not just for those living near Dover, but for those of us living in Wrotham, Ryarsh, Leybourne, and elsewhere in North Kent. The disruption to our roads caused by Operation Stack was unnecessary and damaging, and we need to find a better solution as soon as possible.

Over the past few years I have attended numerous meetings with Ministers, Highways England, other MPs, and local community groups, in the hope of helping to find a solution to Operation Stack. Unfortunately, we have not yet produced the answer that we need. Of course, there have been suggestions put forward, such as the lorry park at Stamford West, but due to a variety of problems, nothing has stuck.

Now, with the need for a new plan even more pressing than before, Highways England have launched a consultation to help find a new solution that will work for everyone. There are currently no plans proposed for any alternatives, with both on-road and off-road possibilities being considered.

Whether you feel that you will be directly affected or not, I would strongly encourage you to reply to the consultation. It is entirely possible that you’ve thought of a solution that Highways England haven’t considered, and it is important that you make your voice heard. You can either complete the online survey at https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/solutions-to-operation-stack/, or call 0300 123 5000 (quoting Kent lorry area), and request a hard copy.

If you would like more information, Highways England will be holding two public events in Maidstone on Saturday 7 July from 12pm-6pm at Sessions House, County Hall, with brochures and questionnaires available at Tonbridge and West Malling Libraries.

Please note that the consultation ends on 22 July.

Georgie Welford