Operation Stack is now in place on the coast-bound carriageway of the M20 between Junctions 8 and 9 following a police operation at Kent ports in which all vehicles and passengers were being checked. The policing operation has now been stood down and border control checks are returning to normality.
Operation Stack is where parts of the M20 are used to queue lorries travelling towards the continent, to avoid causing gridlock across Kent’s road network. It is only introduced as an emergency measure after consultation with other agencies and implemented following a thorough assessment of issues, including safety concerns and disruption on the road network.
Freight within Operation Stack is separated into two queues on either side of the carriageway (on the hard shoulder and lane 3) – one for tunnel traffic and one for port traffic.
Space is left in the middle of the motorway to allow for emergency vehicles e.g. freight breaking down, medical emergencies etc.
Queues are released when capacity is available at the ports.
You may see stretches of the motorway clear from time to time as groups of freight are moved down the Operation Stack queue in stages when capacity becomes available.
Non-freight traffic is filtered at the first junction that Operation Stack is implemented from and diverted onto the A20 to rejoin the M20 in front of the Operation Stack queue.
Why are more sections of the motorway in the early stages of Operation Stack?
When Operation Stack is first implemented there will be a significant queue of freight traffic which sometimes merges from the port to traffic for the Channel Tunnel. In order to safely manage the freight traffic and place the operation on, there may be a need to close other slip roads leading to the port and the tunnel for a period of time.
Additional information for freight:
If you are carrying ‘quick to market’ goods, drivers are to present themselves to the police with a CMR note (proof of contract) as they join the back of Operation Stack.
Check with your operator
Contact your travel operator before setting off on your journey. Here are a few useful numbers:
Eurotunnel – call 08444 630000.
Eurostar – visit www.eurostar.com
The Port of Dover – call 01304 240 400 or visit www.doverport.co.uk
For the most up-to-date information:
- Check the Highways England website – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/highways-england or follow @HighwaysSEAST on Twitter.
- Visit the Kent Police Twitter page – www.twitter.com/kent_police
- Check the KCC Highways website – www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel
- Visit www.eurotunnel.com
- Visit www.doverport.co.uk