How’s this for a traffic jam
Picture the scenario. You’re in your car, driving towards the port of Dover. You have a ferry to catch and you’re late. You’re trying desperately to drive as quickly as you can but the traffic is heavy. Frustration is building up and you’re starting to sweat as the clock ticks inexorably onward. Sound familiar? Yes, we’ve all been there, whether at Dover or somewhere else. And, oh, the sense of relief when we finally arrive at our destination just in time. Well readers, this would be a walk in the park compared with what is likely to happen in the event - increasingly possible - of a “no-deal” Brexit.
The UK government has proposed turning a 13-mile Dover-bound section of the M20 motorway into a huge “temporary” truck park capable of accommodating 2,000 vehicles. Temporary! One man’s temporary is another’s half a lifetime! Worse, the planning application for such an initiative - termed Operation Brock - has not yet been submitted, will not be considered until sometime next year and will not be implemented until 2023 at the earliest according to a report from Kent County Council. Unfortunately, the UK is due to leave the European Commission in March next year!
Many of you will remember the chaos caused on the same stretch of road in 2015 by Operation Stack, introduced as a result of disruption at the port of Calais. Stack, Brock: if the powers that be were looking for a five-letter word ending in K why didn’t they just choose Crock. The port of Dover currently handles around 10,000 trucks a day and their progress through the port is seamless. If or when customs controls are introduced as a result of a “no-deal” Brexit, it will take an average of 45 minutes to process one truck on both sides of the Channel, according to the Road Haulage Association Chief Executive, Richard Burnett. “If that happens, the queues of heavy goods Vehicles in Kent will make the jams seen in the summer of 2015 appear as little more than waiting for the traffic lights to change,” he added.
Last month, a London School of Economics report warned that every seven extra minutes of port check times would add 10 hours to transportation times, equating to at least an extra £111 ($144) per truck in labour costs. in labour costs. Shippers and truck operators simply can’t afford this increase. Neither can ordinary motorists afford the agonies of endless hours stuck in an enormous traffic jam.
Simon Duval Smith
Global News Editor:
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