Operation Stack is an Operation Headache

If you’ve suffered delays as a result of Operation Stack while heading to Europe or coming back with a return load, new developments offer hope.

ID: 1530673
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(businesspress24) - Most people working in the UK/European transport industry will be familiar with Operation Stack, the governmental strategy set in place to deal with the congestion problems at the Port of Dover and the Eurotunnel in Kent. The closing of parts of the M20 motorway to other traffic as lorries are queued until they can gain access to trains and ferries has been somewhat controversial, and the logistics industry has long been lobbying for a more workable permanent solution.

For anyone who''s suffered a delay as a result of Operation Stack being implemented while heading to Europe in a fully laden truck, or while coming back with a return load, recent developments offer renewed hope for a viable solution.

A Review of Plans

The queuing of lorries on the M20 when Operation Stack is in force has not been the successful resolution that the government had hoped for, due in part to the concerns that environmentalists and residents have voiced about the negative impact on Kent

In an attempt to mitigate the disruptions caused by Operation Stack, the government has been attempting to push through a plan to build a lorry park at Stanford West since the summer of 2015. However, the Department for Transport has recently informed the High Court that those plans have now been withdrawn because of concerns regarding their environmental impact.

Towards a Workable Solution

While announcing that they would no longer defend a judicial review over the plans for the lorry park at Stanford, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to finding a permanent, feasible alternative to Operation Stack in order to keep traffic moving around Kent.

In withdrawing the plans for the original lorry park, the Rt Hon MP Chris Grayling said that it had not been viable for Highways England to deliver the park as quickly as possible, while also meeting environmental obligations. However, he recommitted to finding a permanent solution in as timely a manner as possible.

Mr. Grayling said that plans were now in place to propose the construction of a lorry park, taking into account aspects of change since the original plan. These include Brexit and its ramifications, as well as the scale and location of the concept. What

In the Interim

While the development is confirmation that the government is still committed to finding a solution to traffic disruptions at the border, for those travelling to Europe and back with freight and/or a return load, there is still the matter of what happens in the interim.

Highways England have put forth several options to ease the congestion while planning for the lorry park is pending. The options involve still queuing HGVs on the M20, but enabling normal traffic to continue flowing in both directions, which could be achieved by holding lorries in the centre of the motorway rather than the edges. The logistics could be facilitated by the use of moveable or fixed hi-tech steel barriers, the decision on which would need to be determined by budget. The options are to be put to a decision in early 2018, and the winner will be implemented by March 2019.

HGV drivers whose work involves hauling loads to Europe and coming back with a return load will continue to be affected by the implementation of Operation Stack. With luck and planning, however, the situation should certainly be alleviated by 2019

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Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching loads and return load jobs with available drivers. Over 4,800 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ''wholesale'' environment.

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Date: 12/18/2017 - 12:44
Language: English
News-ID 1530673
Character count: 3872
Firma: Haulage Exchange
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