Operation Brock to return ahead of Christmas period

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The Operation Brock contraflow system on the M20 in Kent will be deployed from Monday 12 December ahead of the Christmas period and “high passenger numbers", Kent Resilience Forum confirmed yesterday.

Operation Brock to return ahead of Christmas period
Photo: National Highways press materials

Much maligned by lorry drivers, Operation Brock is described by the Kent Resilience Forum as “part of a series of measures to improve Kent’s resilience and ensure the smooth flow of traffic through the region in the event of disruption to services across the English Channel.”

As a result of Operation Brock’s return, the M20 will be closed as follows:

  • 9pm Wednesday 7 December to 6am Thursday 8 December: coastbound M20 between Junctions 7 to 9
  • 9pm Thursday 8 December to 6am Friday 9 December: London bound M20 between junctions 9 to 8
  • 9pm Friday 9 December to 6am Saturday 10 December: coastbound M20 between junctions 7 to 9
  • 9pm Sunday 11 December to 6am Monday 12 December: London bound M20 between junctions 9-8 and the coastbound M20 between junctions 7-9.
  • Fully signed diversion routes will be place while the M20 is closed overnight.

When the M20 reopens at 6am on Monday 12 December, the Operation Brock contraflow will be in place and all signs and signals should be followed, writes National Highways.

These times have been chosen to minimise disruption to road users.

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.

National Highways has also warned any EU-bound HGVs not complying with signage and trying to use another route to Eurotunnel or the Port of Dover risk a fine of £300. They will also be sent to the back of the queue by Police or enforcement agents for wasting time, fuel and money. This includes trying to bypass the M20 by using the M2/A2 at Brenley Corner.

All other coastbound traffic – including local freight and car drivers heading for the continent – have been told to follow the signs and cross over to enter the contraflow on the M20 London bound carriageway.

Commenting on the decision, Sean Martell, National Highways head of service delivery, said:

“Ensuring the smooth flow of traffic through Kent is a top priority and we, along with our fellow Kent Resilience Forum partners, have taken the joint decision to activate the Operation Brock contraflow from the morning of Monday 12 December.”

“While we understand this won’t be welcome news for some, the decision was made taking several factors into consideration, including high peak passenger numbers.”

“The crucial thing about the contraflow system is that it keeps Kent open and traffic moving in all but the most extreme circumstances. It’s also important that everyone follows the signs. Any HGV freight trying to jump the queue by using Brenley Corner will be turned back.”

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