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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 18:36 GMT
Fresh demand over Operation Stack
Lorries parked on the M20 during Operation Stack
Operation Stack was removed by Kent Police on Saturday morning
Fresh calls have been made to find an alternative solution to Operation Stack, in which the M20 in Kent becomes a giant lorry park.

Thousands of vehicles were parked on the motorway last week when bad weather disrupted Channel ferry crossings and a strike in France hit Eurotunnel trains.

Kent County Council (KCC) leader Paul Carter said more action was needed from the Department for Transport.

Transport minister Stephen Ladyman said talks were under way to find an answer.

Operation Stack was put in place five times last year to cope with disruption to Channel crossings, causing major traffic delays in Kent.

If Mr Carter thinks there is a 100-acre site somewhere in Kent we'll look at it
Stephen Ladyman

One solution suggested last year, to use the County Showground at Detling to park lorries, met with local hostility.

"We need to have a system that doesn't grind the whole of the economy of Folkestone and Ashford to a halt," said Mr Carter.

"There is too much talk and not enough action at the Department for Transport."

He called for a 100-acre farmland site to be found which could be reinforced with plastic mesh and used for grazing the rest of the year.

"We have got to find some willing farmer who wants some additional income," he said.

Mr Ladyman said he had already held meetings with KCC and police and another was scheduled.

"If Mr Carter thinks there is a 100-acre site somewhere in Kent that's in the right place and acquirable he should tell us where it is and we'll look at it," he said.

Another measure being considered is a 10m scheme for concrete moveable barriers to control traffic, similar to those used during roadworks on the M2.

Mr Ladyman said he was "quite excited" about the idea and was awaiting a report on whether it would be cost-effective.




SEE ALSO
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