Statistics published by the Kent Resilience Forum have revealed that over 25,000 Covid test applications were processed last week, while as many as 14,000 HGVs were moved on from Kent into France.
Approximately 8,400 hot meals were also delivered to drivers stranded on the M20 and at Manston Lorry Park.
To cope with the situation, which was of course sparked by France decision to temporarily close its border to accompanied freight and then demand negative coronavirus tests, Kent Police, Highways England, Kent County Council and the Department for Transport all had roles to play in carrying out contingency plans including Operation Stack, Operation Brock and the use of Manston Airfield.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix, who is currently chairing the Kent Resilience Forum’s planned response to potential disruption expected from January 1st onwards, said that she and her colleagues wanted to share the above statistics to show the scale of the challenge.
„Last week saw an unprecedented and unforeseeable level of disruption which affected not just Kent but most of the country, such is the importance of the Short Straits route in terms of goods that enter and leave the UK. In Kent we felt the effects of the disruption more than most and behind our collective efforts to get the county moving again there are some statistics and facts that we wanted to share with everyone.”
Meanwhile, Kent County Council Leader Roger Gough said the statistics „only tell half of the story”:
These statistics tell one half of the story and go some way to show the huge logistical challenges that arose during the crisis. As a group of partner agencies our number one goal was, and continues to be, to keep people safe and keep the county moving. Of course, we’ve also been amazed and moved by the kindness and humanity shown by people who have rallied to help in whatever way they can. We recognise the pain for many drivers caught up in this and separated from their families at Christmas – yet the Christmas spirit was very much alive in Kent.
Photo credit: Polish Embassy UK