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Newspaper Columns

KM Column - Operation Stack (M26 Alternative) - 2 August 2018

Many of you know my thoughts on the problems that Operation Stack caused a few years ago, so I’m not going start by repeating myself, except to say that we need a new solution, and we need it soon. One solution however that I will not support, is the idea from the Department for Transport to use the M26 as an alternative to Operation Stack if it is needed in the future. I will strongly resist this proposal on a number of levels if it is taken any further.

As you know, the M26 is a crucial part of our strategic road network, and the lack of slip roads at Junction 5 of the M25 makes the westbound carriageway the longest in England without a junction. Closing this for days to allow lorries to line up along it would cause chaos through all the villages along the A25, and communities such as Borough Green, Platt and Wrotham will be inaccessible. This would be disastrous for people and businesses alike, and cannot be allowed to happen. The A25 is congested enough, and would be put under too much pressure if more cars had to use it.

I’ve already written to the Transport Secretary and met the Roads Minister to voice my opposition to the M26 proposals. I’ll be re-emphasising my points again should this go any further.

The M26 connects every community along it and the M20 with the rest of the country and cannot be closed for days on end to park lorries. The Solutions to Operation Stack consultation has now closed, and I am interested to see the results.

Georgie Welford