Freight Transport Association members have stepped in to help fellow truckers who are stuck in Operation Stack on the M20 in Kent.
Donations of bottled water, canned drinks and dried foods are being distributed to the thousands of drivers who are enduring Britain’s hottest day for 10 years while stranded on the motorway without any facilities.
FTA Chief Executive David Wells said: “We knew our members would want to help fellow truckers who have been stranded for hours in unbearable heat without food or water. The lack of facilities is appalling for those who have been stuck on the M20 on the hottest day for a decade. This is a fantastic example of what membership of FTA means – sharing common resources and making the freight industry a better place for everyone.”
Kent Resilience Forum, a crisis response group made up of the emergency services and other tactical organisations, appealed to the FTA for assistance as phase 3 of Operation Stack was implemented. Thousands of lorries are parked on closed sections of the M20 waiting for the strike by French ferry operators to be lifted, but latest reports say it will last until at least Friday lunchtime.
FTA sent an emergency email to members in London and the south east and tweeted a request for help – and it wasn’t long before the phones started ringing.
Kent Police are now putting plans in place for phase 4 of Operation Stack, an unprecedented move which will see the M20 shut from junctions 8-12 coast-bound and 8-9 London-bound. Further closures could be announced as the strike continues.
David Wells said: “The strike in Calais has caused chaos for businesses, freight operators and leisure travellers and it needs to be resolved. Every day without ferry crossings is a day of lost business for many of our members.”
Members including Thames Water and Wincanton offered to help by providing vehicles to deliver goods to the truckers and much-needed water and food.