The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is concerned that the recommendations from the House of Commons Transport Committee could prolong the misery suffered by Kent residents during Operation Stack.
FTA understands the concerns expressed today in the Committee’s report, but says there needs to be a suitable alternative to implementing Operation Stack on the M20 in Kent.
Malcolm Bingham – FTA Head of Road Network Management Policy said:
“The implementation of the queuing system which we have seen on numerous occasions causes major disruption, not only for the drivers in Operation Stack but also for Kent’s businesses and residents, and we need a solution.
“There needs to be a managed flow of traffic to the port and tunnel. If a large lorry area is the answer, then the residents of Kent deserve an explanation of what the need is and how it will work. Equally if that is not the solution, any alternatives need to be fully explored.”
Last summer’s problems in France – with the migrant and refugee crisis coupled with industrial action by striking ferry workers – led to months of chaos with drivers spending hours stuck in queues stretching over 35 miles, which cost the UK logistics industry £750,000 a day.
Malcolm Bingham added:
“We want to keep the wheels of industry turning so it is essential to manage the impact of cross-Channel disruption in the best possible way and involve the logistics industry in the creation of the solution.
“We must urgently press ahead with a plan that will protect drivers, their vehicles and the £89 billion of trade which passes through this route each year.
“Additionally the UK and French governments must work together to ensure that we do not have another summer of discontent with striking workers which was one of the main causes of the chaos we saw in Kent last year.”