MPs demand M20 roadworks finish earlier to prevent traffic horror show
February 7th 2019
Eight Kent MPs have demanded changes to the schedule of M20 roadworks to prevent a month of traffic disruption.
Tracey Crouch, Charlie Elphicke, Michael Fallon, Roger Gale, Damian Green, Gordon Henderson, Tom Tugendhat and Helen Whately have warned of severe delays unless the motorway reopens by 4.30am.
They wrote: “The late re-opening of the motorway has a knock-on impact for several hours, with motorists arriving late to work and other destinations and pupils missing lessons because of delayed buses. The impact on local roads and the congestions caused by the build-up of traffic on the motorway will have a harmful impact on the local economy and businesses,” in a letter to Highways England.
The M20 London-bound is scheduled to close between Junction 8-9 from 8pm to 6am from Saturday 9th February to Monday 11th March so that barriers can be installed in preparation for Operation Brock. Narrow lanes and a 50mph speed restriction will operate during the day from 12th February to 11th March.
The MPs have asked Highways England to consider reopening the M20 at 4.30am during this period so that the motorway can be prepared for Brexit without causing excessive disruption to drivers and businesses.
North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale says:
“As Helen Whatley (Faversham), who has co-ordinated this approach to Highways England has indicated
`We know from experience how bad it can be when the M20 shuts down all night. Back in November there was a week of dreadful delays caused by overnight closures – with children missing lessons and businesses losing money from late deliveries and people not getting to work on time. A month of roadworks will be even worse.`
And Helen is absolutely right.
We do need to mitigate the effects of a possible no-deal Brexit and Operation Brock is a significant contingency plan in response to potential disruption at the border – but 6am is too late to restore the flow of rush-hour traffic. The M20 needs to be reopened no later than 4.30am to avoid chaos.
Kent`s MPs have expressed a number of reservations about preparations to implement Operation Brock but this proposal is an unnecessary and avoidable addition to that list of concerns”.