Police warn of M20 chaos

Contributed by editor on Mar 10, 2005 - 12:30 AM


Kent Police is preparing to implement Operation Stack tonight (10 March) because of industrial action by French workers that will close the port of Calais for 24 hours.

Transport union members protesting over working hours are planning to strike between 10pm tonight (Wednesday) and 10pm on Thursday.

This is likely to cause a considerable backlog of freight traffic attempting to travel to France via Calais for the duration of the industrial action – and for some time after the strike ends.

Kent Police is preparing to implement phase one of Operation Stack initially, which involves closing the M20 coastbound between junctions 11 at Hythe and 12 at Folkestone.

It is likely that phase two of Operation Stack may also have to be implemented, which means the M20 motorway will also be closed coastbound between junctions 8 and 9 - the Leeds Castle and Ashford junctions.

Where the motorway is closed, any non-freight cross Channel traffic will be diverted onto the A20.

Operation Stack could be implemented as early as six o’clock tonight depending on the volume of freight traffic heading towards France.

If Stack is implemented then it is likely to continue throughout Thursday and into Friday.

Eurotunnel will continue to operate a full freight service throughout the disruption, including through the night. Freight travelling through Eurotunnel may be subject to queuing in the Stack operation.

There is capacity to queue 800 lorries in phase one of Operation Stack and a further 3,000 lorries in phase two.