Brexit: Manston Airport lorry park trial takes place

Manston Airport has today been tested as a lorry park which could be used in future to potentially tackle post-Brexit traffic queues in Kent using a group of 89 HGVs.

The convoy was the first first of two test runs and they set off at 08:00h from the disused Manston Airport, near Ramsgate in Kent, on a 20-mile route to the Port of Dover. At Dover, lorries were directed to the Eastern Docks roundabout where they did a loop and drove back to the airfield.

The trial, called Operation Brock, is testing how the A256 copes with increased lorry traffic. A second trial took place from 11:00h.

The tests are being carried out by Department for Transport ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union in March and organised alongside the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the Freight Transport Association and Kent County Council.

The DfT says Manston will be crucial in the event of disruption, but fears have grown locally that it would take several hours for lorries held at the site to leave, causing congestion elsewhere.

Hauliers fear a no-deal Brexit will create additional border checks, leading to queues of up to 29 miles.

UK PM Theresa May is attempting to persuade MPs to support her draft Brexit deal. MPs will vote on her deal on 15 January.

(Picture courtesy of Kent Police RPU Twitter handle @kentpoliceroads)