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Last Updated: Monday, 25 June 2007, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Barrier to solve Operation Stack
Quick moveable barrier
The quick moveable barrier is intended as a short-term solution
A multi-million pound solution has been announced to deal with the traffic chaos caused in Kent whenever lorries are unable to cross the Channel.

A quick moveable barrier (QMB) will be used on the M20 to allow four lanes to remain open when lorries are parked on the motorway in Operation Stack.

Previously, non-lorry traffic has been diverted on to the A20.

But transport minister Stephen Ladyman said the 12.6m scheme was a short-term solution until a lorry park was found.

"We are not intending this as a permanent solution but it will deal with the problem for the next few years," he said.

Perhaps 12.6m could have been spent on the construction of a lorry site
Freight Transport Association

"In the long term we need an off-road lorry park but it is going to take a little while to identify one so in the meantime we are going ahead with the barrier.

"We should have it within a year."

The QMB will improve phase one of Operation Stack, put in place between junction 11 and junction 12 of the M20 when there is severe disruption at Dover and Folkestone.

The barrier will provide a contraflow on the London-bound carriageway so two lanes will be in place in both directions.

Geoff Dossiter, spokesman for the Tunbridge Wells-based Freight Transport Association, said it was good news that money was being invested to solve the problem of Operation Stack.

"For too long the residents of Kent have had to put up with these problems and so has the transport industry," he said.

"But the real issue is whether this is the best possible solution.

"Perhaps 12.6m could have been spent on the construction of a properly facilitated lorry site."

Kent County Council said it welcomed the announcement but had made it clear to the minister that it would prefer an off-road lorry park.

It had identified a site between Folkestone and Ashford and was prepared to carry out further investigations into this option.

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