Report: deployment of Operation Brock to remain an option indefinitely

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Traffic management measures such as Operation Brock, which were supposed to be phased out in October, are to become available to the authorities on a permanent basis, reports the Guardian.

Report: deployment of Operation Brock to remain an option indefinitely
Photo: Highways England

The measures were created in order to deal with the traffic congestion expected in the months following Great Britain’s departure from the European Union single market.

However, according the Guardian, ministers are seeking to make the mechanisms available indefinitely by omitting the “sunset clauses” that state the date after which they must not be used.

As a result, mechanisms such as Operation Brock would become a permanent option in the event of traffic disruption on roads to key ports and the Channel Tunnel.

The Guardian writes that “the change was published quietly in a consultation response on the government’s website during parliamentary recess while MPs were away from Westminster, with statutory instruments to be laid in September.”

“The Operation Brock response plans will continue to be for temporary use and only implemented if strictly necessary to minimise traffic congestion in Kent caused by disruption at the Short Straits,” the document said.

“Bad weather” and “industrial action” are listed as the reasons why the mechanisms may have to be used in the future. However sceptics have argued the real reason measures like Operation Brock shall remain applicable is that future Brexit-related disruption is feared.

Operation Brock was last deployed in mid-July, when the government expected a rise in traffic following the end of lockdown restrictions. However, it only remained operational for two weeks.

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