Brexit: Resilience measures rolled out in Kent

A series of measures to improve Kent’s resilience in the event of disruption to services across the English Channel were put in place this morning as planned, in preparation for a UK exit from the EU on 31st October.

Operation Brock will keep the M20 open in both directions by using a contraflow on the M20 London-bound carriageway between junctions 8 and 9 (from Maidstone to Ashford) and directing lorries heading for mainland Europe onto the coastbound carriageway, where they can be queued if necessary.

Highways England south east operations director Nicola Bell said: "Operation Brock is part of a set of measures put in place to allow the M20 and the rest of Kent to keep moving in the event of cross-channel disruption. We have worked extensively with our partners in Kent to ensure that the county is as prepared as possible for any disruption to cross-channel services. We thank road users in advance for their patience while we carry out this necessary work."

Drivers of lorries weighing more than 7.5 tonnes heading for Eurotunnel or the Port of Dover on the M20 should follow signs directing them onto the coastbound carriageway of the M20 between junction 8 for Maidstone and junction 9 for Ashford. A 30mph speed limit is in place and, in the event of disruption at the ports, lorries could be queued on this section of motorway. All other drivers should continue their journeys as normal.

The Operation has been deployed preemptively to avoid potential delays at the ports in the coming days or weeks. Officials said its deployment will be kept under continual review and it will be stood down when it is no longer needed.

Meanwhile, it has still not been confirmed that the UK will actually leave the EU on the 31st. Some clarity on that is expected tomorrow, following discussions among EU member states after last week's events in Parliament.

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