DOVER DISTRICT COUNCIL RESPONDS TO USE OF MANSTON AIRPORT DURING OPERATION STACK

Dover District Council has raised objections to the use of the former Manston Airport site for HGV traffic bound for Port of Dover.  “We have major reservations about the practicalities of the proposal and the resources that will be required to implement it,” said Cllr Nigel Collor, Portfolio Holder for Access & Licensing. 

Effectively, the proposal involves sending HGVs on a 50-mile diversion from Junction 7 of the M20, up the A249 (Detling Hill) and then on the M2/A299 (Thanet Way)/A253 to Manston.  As hauliers often have contracts with both ferry operators and Eurotunnel, we believe most will simply choose to stay on the M20.  The proposals to filter “quick to market” products on entry to Operation Stack will further complicate this process. 

From Manston, HGVs will have to travel on the A256 from Thanet to Dover, much of which is single carriageway.  Without effective management and resources, this has the potential to block Dover from both the West (M20/A20) and East (A2), which is also single carriageway into Dover.  There is also potential for disruption to local traffic in Sandwich, Deal and rural villages. 

We will be monitoring the effects of this proposal very carefully.  We have been given assurances by central Government and Kent County Council that they will be monitoring local impacts, and we urge local residents to feedback their experience to community@dover.gov.uk 

Cllr Nigel Collor concluded: “This is clearly not a sensible solution and has not been met with any great enthusiasm by the ferry operators.  Any short term measures to increase holding capacity should be located close to the existing Operation Stack arrangements. 

“What we need is for the Government to commit now to creating a sustainable road network in Kent that balances support for our vital economic cross-Channel trading links with the need for local people to go about their business without hindrance. 

“We will continue to lobby for the dualling of the A2 all the way to Dover and a third Thames crossing as the only viable long-term solutions.”

 

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