Monday, November 19, 2018

Post Brexit Plans Close Motorway and Decried by Road Haulage Group

Potential Sign of Things to Come for Freight Vehicles
Shipping News Feature
UK – As part of the government's post Brexit contingency planning the M26 motorway, which runs through Kent and is one of the UK's busiest routes for hauliers heading towards, and returning from mainland Europe, has timed closures until Friday 21 December. Closure will be from 10pm until 5.30pm the following morning, Monday to Thursday (inclusive). On Friday nights work will take place between 11pm and 6am. The move brought an instant reaction from the Road Haulage Association (RHA) on behalf of the freight community.

This particular section of motorway is a potential lorry park if port-bound freight traffic needs to be managed as a result of disruption and delays at Dover and Eurotunnel. Over 10,000 lorries head either towards or from Dover each day. 50% of those would probably have to use use the southern section of the M25 so the likelihood of holdups as a result of 5,000 trucks creating a bottleneck are considerable.

The government of course have already been much maligned over their post Brexit plans for road freight passing to and from the Channel Ports. After its plans for a giant lorry park were thrown out due to the lack of any environmental study, plans to park along the M20 motorway saw it accused of turning the County of Kent into a toilet block. Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said:

“This diversion will mean vehicles having to travel an extra 10 miles around the M25 to meet the M20 south-bound. It also includes what we consider to be a very bizarre route to enable traffic to get back onto the M20 and we are still waiting for clarification as to the reasoning behind this.

”For a haulage operator, time is money and every penny has to count. Hitting them with additional financial burdens at a time when Christmas deliveries are being planned means that any potential profits will be wiped out by the additional running costs this diversion will create.”