We're currently building a temporary solution called Operation Brock to reduce traffic congestion in Kent, caused by periods of extraordinary cross-Channel disruption. The solution will allow for two-way travel on the London-bound carriageway of the M20 between junction 8 at Maidstone and junction 9 at Ashford, should the coast-bound carriageway be required to manage port-bound freight.
Roadworks to install the temporary steel barrier on the M20 that will be used for Operation Brock is scheduled for completion by mid-March. Overnight closures (8pm to 6am) are in place between junctions 9 (Ashford) and 7 (Maidstone) to enable the work to take place safely. From Tuesday 12 February until mid-March there will be narrow lanes and a 50mph speed limit.
For the overnight closures diversions are in place via the A20. Drivers needing to travel while these works are taking place should plan ahead and allow more time for their journeys.
Traffic management will be coordinated across other M20 schemes such as the M20 junctions 3 to 5 smart motorways scheme and the M20 junction 10a new junction works, to enable a smooth journey for road users. If the project is required to be fully implemented, we'll help travellers drive around and through Kent by providing online advice ahead of journeys, and on-road messages and signage during journeys.
This temporary solution, if required, is planned to be ready for a period of up to six months from March 2019.
Please note that no locations have been selected yet. The map broadly shows where Operation Stack affects the M20. The map pin does not represent a proposed site.
The construction work for Operation Brock is scheduled to be completed in mid-March 2019.
|November 2017||Government announce scheme|
|24 May 2018||Notice of Determination published|
|July 2018||Preparation works start|
|February 2019||Installation works to allow full operation|
|March 2019 (estimated)||Installation works completed|
As part of the public information exercise for the Permanent Solution project that ran from 11 June to 22 July 2018, we also discussed the temporary solution.
You can also find out more about the Permanent Solution project via the project factsheet located in the documents section below.
Why we need this scheme
The M20 is a key part of the strategic road network, providing the signed route to key Kent towns such as Maidstone and Ashford, and to the Channel Tunnel and Port of Dover.
During periods of disruption at the ports - caused by such things as severe weather, strikes or technical failures - lorries queue on the motorways as well as local roads. Depending on the severity of the disruption, Operation Stack may be activated, resulting in the closure of the coast-bound and/or London-bound carriageways between Maidstone and Ashford, to hold cross-channel lorries. In summer 2015 Operation Stack was used on 32 days, leading to wide-scale inconvenience to Kent‚Äôs communities, businesses and visitors.
While a permanent solution is being explored, we've also been asked to develop a temporary solution to be ready for use, if required, by March 2019.
The aim of the scheme is:
- To have a safe, operable temporary solution on the M20 between junction 8 at Maidstone and junction 9 at Ashford, to be ready for use, if required, by March 2019 for a six-month period, that will enable all travellers who want to use the M20 to continue to do so safely.
The scheme in detail
The scheme will allow the flow of two-way traffic on the London-bound carriageway of the M20 between junction 8 at Maidstone and junction 9 at Ashford, should the coast-bound carriageway be needed to handle port-bound freight. We'll add more details as the design develops.
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