In an effort to test the road congestion in the case of a 'no-deal' Brexit, 89 HGVs have been drafted in to trial parts of Operation Brock today, between Manston Airport near Ramsgate in Kent and the port of Dover.
This will form part of the government's preparations for the possibility that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. There are concerns that a no-deal situation will create additional border checks and queues of up to 29 miles.
The full Operation Brock proposal is to section off the entire southbound carriageway of a 13 mile stretch of the A256 in Kent which can then be used to hold around 2,000 lorries in the event of severe cross-Channel congestion.
A spokesperson for Department for Transport has said;
"We do not want or expect a no-deal scenario, and continue to work hard to deliver a deal with the EU. However, it is the duty of a responsible government to continue to prepare for all eventualities and contingencies including a possible no-deal. We will be testing part of Operation Brock to ensure that, if it needs to be implemented, the system is fully functional.
The first practice run began today in rush-hour at around 8am, with four convoys leaving and the first of the convoys arriving in Dover at around 8:52am. More practice runs are expected at 11am, with the drivers involved being paid their usual rate to take part.