The United Kingdom Government has decided to act. 89 trucks were used to test the emergency traffic system that will be put in place to prevent congestion in Dover in the event of a no-deal Brexit. British are testing various scenarios and all possible situations that can take place on the border after the exit of the UK from the EU. Drivers comment that it is „a waste of time.”
This morning, starting at 8 am, 89 trucks departed from a disused airport in Ramsgate, Kent in the direction to the port in Dover. The authorities wanted to see how the A256 will deal with increased traffic in case of the no-deal scenario. The test, nicknamed Operation Brock, was organized by the organised by the Department for Transport alongside the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association.
It’s a waste of time. They should have done it in rush-hour. You can see the traffic here is just average. This is not what it will be like in no-deal,” said Adam Carter, a driver with Int Logistics for The Guardian.
According to plans, Manston airport will become a parking lot for about 6,000 trucks after Brexit. That is why the tests started there. The trucks were directed from the airport towards the port of Dover, a distance of about 20 miles (about 32 km).
Although the experiment was conducted without any major difficulties, drivers warn that it wasn’t anywhere near the real-life conditions. According to estimates, 10,000 trucks are handled daily at the port of Dover.
Managed chaos? But will these 83 trucks mirror what happens in the event of a REAL No Deal? One trucker tells me the smooth flow of traffic is the least of their worries. It’s the customs checks that have them awake at night @Channel4News pic.twitter.com/Sp7X4tOdiB
— siobhan kennedy (@siobhankennedy4) January 7, 2019
Truckers are concerned that the additional journey to the Manston airport would create huge costs for transport companies. Especially those who would be forced to add the airport to their journey despite the fact that their final destination was Eurotunnel.
When you’re doing that extra 40 miles two or three times a week and at eight miles to the gallon, it all adds up,” says David Martin for The Guardian.
Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, is also sceptical about the trial.
@ManstonTruckTrial “Of course it’s good to have a plan in place but today’s limited scope trial will need to be repeated to stress-test other aspects of the management of thousands of lorries properly” @RHARichardB #NoDealBrexithttps://t.co/UNSHaKpyJu pic.twitter.com/qMG20bbEVP
— RHA News (@RHANews) January 7, 2019
Photo: Geograph.org.uk/Mari Buckley/CC BY-SA 2.0