This week’s reinstatement of the Operation Brock traffic management system on the M20 for coastbound traffic, will provide more certainty for those moving goods across the UK border according to business group Logistics UK. The traffic flow management system will be used between junction eight for Leeds Castle and junction nine for Ashford, and aims to minimise potential delays as a result of high traffic volumes for both logistics and domestic traffic in the run up to Christmas.
However, following disruption during previous implementations of the system, in December 2021 and during the summer holidays, due to a lack of French border force officials, Logistics UK is urging government to confirm with their French counterparts that there is sufficient staffing for the busy period ahead to minimise delays.
Kate Jennings, Director of Policy at Logistics UK, comments: “The festive period is always an extremely busy time for the logistics industry, with HGV and light goods drivers working hard to deliver everything the UK needs for Christmas. The early implementation of Operation Brock will keep traffic flowing across the road network through Kent and the South East.
“However, it is important that vehicles waiting in the Operation Brock queues are held for the minimum amount of time, and that potential delays are communicated clearly and in a timely fashion. With the current extreme cold snap, it is vital, in the event of a substantial holdup, that drivers are redirected towards welfare facilities. Logistics UK is also urging drivers to plan ahead and ensure they are equipped with sufficient supplies should there be delays, and will be liaising closely with the authorities to ensure that the welfare of drivers remains a priority.
“It is also vitally important that our government continues to work with their French counterparts to identify long-term solutions to potential border delays. Logistics is the lifeblood of the UK economy, not just during the festive season, and it is not acceptable to leave the industry’s key workers parked at the side of motorways for any periods of time. Our industry remains committed to keeping business moving, and we stand ready to discuss options with all those involved to drive the economy forwards.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit www.logistics.org.uk.
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