28 March 2019: Highways England Operation Brock - reducing disruption in Kent
From Monday 25 March 2019, Operation Brock has been brought in on the M20 as an extra tool for managing disruption in Kent in the event of a Day 1 No Deal Brexit outcome.
The motorway contraflow on the M20 will be in effect from north of Junction 8 (for Maidstone, Kent) to Junction 9 (Ashford, Kent).
Operation Brock queues lorries bound for mainland Europe on the coast bound M20 and uses a contraflow on the London-bound carriageway to enable other traffic to travel in both directions.
Traditionally when there has been severe disruption to cross-channel services, sections of the M20 have been closed and used to queue HGVs heading for mainland Europe, under arrangements known as Operation Stack. However, Operation Stack did not consider local traffic, service and emergency vehicles and they were left to their own devices whilst the M20 was closed to stack lorries. Operation Brock does consider the local traffic, service and emergency vehicles, which is why the London-bound carriageway has been converted into a two-way contraflow.
In November 2017 the government announced that, alongside ongoing work to find a permanent solution for Operation Stack, Highways England would take forward interim alternatives for Operation Stack that could be ready for use in March 2019, and that, crucially, would keep the M20 open in both directions.
Under the new arrangements, in addition to the M20 contraflow, lorries can be routed to Manston Airfield, a disused airfield in North Kent, and if needed, the M26 motorway can be closed and used to queue HGVs too.
Click here for a visual of Operation Brock and the four phases that have been implemented.
The arrangements offer a significant improvement to Operation Stack and, crucially, keep the M20 motorway open to traffic in both directions in all but the most extreme circumstances.
For more information on Operation Brock and other contingency measures in Kent, visit:
• How Operation Brock will affect your journey
• Government advice for car drivers in Europe after Brexit
• Government advice for bus and coach drivers in Europe after Brexit
• Government advice for HGV drivers in Europe after Brexit
• How Kent County Council has prepared for Brexit
• Kent’s joint action plan for dealing with disruption