BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News Interactive School ReportBBC News Interactive School Report
Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 16:02 GMT
Stacking up traffic chaos

By Barnaby
Brockhill Park Performing Arts College, Hythe, Kent

School Reporters from Brockhill Park Performing Arts College interviewing MP Michael Howard.
Barnaby, left, and School Reporters with MP Michael Howard.

Operation Stack has been in place for an unprecedented number of days and is causing traffic chaos on Kent's motorways.

Operation Stack occurs when lorries have to be parked on the M20 due to strike action, port and Eurotunnel closures and adverse weather conditions.

At the moment the phase two is in place which closes junction 8 (Leeds Castle) to junction 9 (Ashford West), while other motorists are being diverted onto the A20.

Kent Police issued a statement saying that they don't ┐like running Operation Stack any more than the country's residents and businesses and the hauliers who have to endure congestion and delays as a result┐.

Donna Hawkes, a teacher at Brockhill Park Performing Arts College, just off junction 11 of the M20, said that her travel had been difficult.

┐Everyone is diverted to the A20 and what is usually under a 10-minute journey can take upwards of 40 minutes ┐ I worry about the emergency services getting through."

Shepway's local MP, Michael Howard commented upon Stack, stating: "I have been pressing everyone concerned for a long time, the government, the county council and the police."

Options such as a huge 12-hectare lorry park have been suggested and Mr Howard agreed that this was a possible answer but was concerned that it would have resistance as the people local to it wouldn't like where it would be.

The people of Kent and particularly motorists that have had their travel disrupted will be pleased to see a solution to the issue.

How effective is Operation Stack?

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific