Everything We Know About Operation Brock for Dover & Folkestone
Whilst we still have questions about a No-Deal Brexit, one thing we know for sure is that Operation Brock will be put into place on the 28th of October. Here is everything that you need to know.
What is Operation Brock?
Operation Brock is the traffic management scheme to safely direct Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) to both the Channel Tunnel (Folkestone) or the Port of Dover in the event there are severe delays in cross-channel travel in the event of No-Deal Brexit.
Why is Operation Brock needed?
Operation Brock has been implemented to avoid the need to close the M20 and get drivers and their cargo to their destination in the safest and quickest method possible. Delays are expected to be around 36 hours, therefore the restrictions are put into place in order to avoid thousands of vehicles being stranded indefinitely. Ultimately leaving the motorway and surrounding areas in a state of gridlock.
What is the plan for Operation Brock?
Highways England devised the final plan for Brock earlier this year and have devised the structure into four phases, depending on the level of congestion.
- The initial phase is restricted to heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) queuing for the Port of Dover.
- Dover TAP (Traffic Assessment Project) is activated, restricting access to the port and reducing speed for all.
- All HGVs entering the port MUST use the A20 from Folkestone and queue in the left hand lane. Any attempts to deviate from this route or anyone trying to queue jump will be fined and removed to the back of the line.
- At periods of heavy congestion, HGV drivers will be held by traffic lights and granted access into the port at the Western Heights Roundabout to the west of Dover to avoid blocking the main road into the town.
- All other road users must NOT exceed 40mph and use only the right hand lane, leaving the middle lane open for emergency vehicles. Any attempts to deviate from this lane or anyone exceeding the speed limit will be fined.
- Phase 2 will be put into operation when traffic moves beyond the A20 and begins to block the contraflow between Junctions 8 and 9 on the M20. It applies to HGVs accessing both the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel.
- HGVs are restricted to the westbound carriageway contraflow and a speed of 50mph. The eastbound carriageway will be closed to the public and be used as an HGV holding zone until space becomes available. They will queue in two lanes - the hard shoulder and third lane. The remaining two lanes are reserved for emergency vehicles and maintenance vehicles etc.
- Due to the contraflow system, non-HGV traffic is banned from joining the M20 eastbound at Junction 8.
- Phase 3 will be enforced when the queue of HGVs reaches beyond the Contraflow system on the M20.
- All HGVs attempting to reach the Channel Tunnel must queue on the contraflow system on the M20. However, HGVs headed for the Port of Dover need to head to Manston Airport via the M2, A249 and A299. This airfield has 3,000 parking spaces available for the waiting HGVs until space becomes available on the A256.
- When the driver reaches the A256, TAP256 will be implemented in the same way as Dover TAP on the A20.
Phase 4 is implemented when there is no remaining space for HGVs queuing for the Channel Tunnel. The M26 will be closed entirely and HGVs are parked on the carriageway until space becomes available on the M20.