Operation Brock on M20 in Kent to remain until after Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday

Operation Brock on the M20 will remain in place until after the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday.

Transport bosses say the traffic contra flow will not be lifted because of expected busy roads and reduced ferry capacity at Dover at the end of May.

Under current plans, the decision means National Highways will remove the M20 controls that manage the flow freight heading to Europe from the motorway overnight Sunday, 5 June.

The step will enable works to permanently relocate the moveable barrier at the heart of the Brock road layout to the central reservation to re-start.

Operation Brock aims to keep the M20 open in both directions by using a contraflow road layout, directing lorries heading for mainland Europe onto the coast-bound carriageway, where they can be queued if necessary.

All other traffic, including local freight and car drivers headed for the continent, will need to follow the signs and and cross over to enter the contraflow on the M20 London bound carriageway.

While Irish Ferries has added another vessel to its Dover fleet and P&O ferries have resumed a reduced service out of the port, the company's remaining two ferries are still out of action and facing safety checks and sea trials before coming back online.

Cross-Channel routes are set for a particularly busy final week of May as the half-term getaway over Friday and Saturday 27-28th combines with large numbers of football fans heading to Paris for the UEFA Champions League final.

Supporters hoping to travel to the match but who haven't yet booked, are being told to speak to their chosen operator in advance of travelling to ensure that space is available.   

Local and tourist traffic is also expected to be busy over the four-day Jubilee celebration marking The Queen's 70 years of service to the nation, from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June.

Kent Resilience Forum Strategic Planning Lead, Simon Jones, said: "The frequency with which we are currently having to use traffic controls on the M20 to manage EU-bound freight shows we are not yet in a position to remove the scheme - and the next busy holiday period is just around the corner.

"We are very aware of the impacts of border disruption on Kent and our priority is to ensure the county keeps moving, staycationers enjoy our many attractions and residents can go about their daily lives. Thanks to everyone for their continued patience."

Nicola Bell, National Highways Regional Director, South East, said: "While the risk of major disruption remains, keeping current arrangements in place on the M20 is our best option for helping people get to their destinations and reducing the worst impacts of congestion on local communities and businesses.

"We know this decision will be frustrating for many and KRF partners remain committed to removing the motorway controls as soon as the data shows we can."

As always, while Brock is in place, EU freight heading for the ports must continue to use the M20, enter the coastbound carriageway at Junction 8 and follow directions. People driving in or through Kent should also keep checking their route before travelling, know where service stations are for taking breaks, and allow more time for their journeys.