Photo credits @ Highways England (illustrative purposes only)

Operation Brock: new port access permit required; M20 to close on 10 July

From 10 July 2024, lorries travelling from Dover to Europe will need to obtain a permit to enter the Port of Dover or risk a £300 fine. The Operation Brock contraflow traffic management system will be reactivated on Thursday 11 July - with the M20 closed between Maidstone and Ashford the night before.

You can read this article in 4 minutes

A new permit system will be introduced on the M20 motorway from 10 July 2024 as part of Operation Brock to manage freight traffic into the Port of Dover. 

The permit system will be activated when the Dover Traffic Assessment Project (TAP) is launched and Operation Brock is in active use. Under this system, lorry drivers must follow the designated route on the M20 and obtain a permit at the front of the Operation Brock queue. Only those with a valid permit will be allowed access to the Port of Dover.

Permits will be issued to Port of Dover-bound freight drivers at the front of the Operation Brock queue. These permits will be checked at the A20/B2011 Courtwood Interchange in Dover TAP. Drivers with valid permits will be allowed to re-enter the TAP queue on the A20 and continue to the port. Those without a valid permit will be turned back to rejoin the Brock queue on the M20.

Local HGVs and delivery vehicles will not be diverted off the A20 and will be allowed to continue their journey into Dover. Kent hauliers eligible for the Local Haulier Permit will receive these permits automatically ahead of the busy summer period, as their details are already recorded by the Kent Movement Response Framework (KMRF).

Enforcement and penalties

To ensure compliance, Kent Police and the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will issue on-the-spot fines of £300 to lorry drivers who attempt to avoid the traffic management system. Enforcement teams will be stationed at various points along the Kent road network to enforce this regulation and redirect non-compliant freight traffic to the back of the Brock queue.

M20 closed between Maidstone and Ashford next Wednesday night

To facilitate the deployment of the Operation Brock contraflow system, the M20 motorway will be closed overnight between Maidstone and Ashford on Wednesday, 10 July,

The contraflow system is being deployed on a 13-mile section of the M20 between junctions 8 (for Maidstone) and 9 (at Ashford) ahead of the summer holidays, due to expected high passenger numbers.  

To safely deploy the contraflow, the M20 will be closed – London bound from junction 9 to 8 and coastbound junction 7 to 9 – overnight from 8 pm on Wednesday 10 July to 6 am on Thursday 11 July. 

Fully signed diversion routes will be in place while the M20 is closed overnight. 

When the M20 reopens on Thursday, 11 July, the Brock contraflow will be in place and all signs should be followed. Once the barrier is in place, all HGVs heading for the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel must follow the signs to join Operation Brock at M20 junction 8.

Any EU-bound lorry that fails to obey the signs and tries to take an alternative route to the Eurotunnel or the Port of Dover risks a £300 fine, the Highways Agency has warned. HGVs will also be sent to the back of the queue.

The measure also applies to those trying to avoid the M20 by using the M2/A2 at Brenley Corner.

All other coast-bound traffic – including local freight and car drivers heading for the continent – should follow the signs and cross over to enter the contraflow on the M20 London-bound carriageway.