Operation Stack Lorry Park

Shepway Green Party is totally opposed to the plans for a major 150 acre lorry park next to Junction 11 of the M20, near Stanford. Martin Whybrow, the Green Party’s Kent County Council member for Hythe, has spoken publicly at KCC full council and Environment & Transport committee meetings, to the local press and at public meetings opposing yet more potential ‘blight’ coming to a small corridor of Kent that has ‘already had so much infrastructure dumped on it over the years’.

The proposals are the latest attempt to address Operation Stack and follows funding from central government in the Autumn Statement of £250 million for this. The lorry park would handle up to 3600 Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs).

Martin Whybrow says: ‘Again, we have a futile plan to tarmac yet more Kent’s countryside and agricultural land. Operation Stack needs smart solutions, not dumb ones. It needs a joined up strategy that includes the use of technology to give drivers as much warning as possible of problems, the coming together of all stakeholders to remove the current barriers to moving far more freight than at present by rail, and an analysis of the HGV movements to identify where we can build greater local resilience and create jobs to remove the need for so many imports.’

With estimates of annual growth in HGVs of between 2% and 4% at the Port of Dover and up to 30% over the next five years at Eurotunnel, it is clear that sort-term ‘sticking plaster’ types moves such as this will not address the source of the problem. ‘Even without Operation Stack, congestion on Kent’s roads is ever worse, with a single incident able to produce similar conditions in no time at all,’ says Martin.

Within the government’s own consultation, both Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover said a giant lorry park won’t fix stack. The Transport Select Committee itself added that ‘the case for spending £250 million on a lorry park has not yet been made’ and that ‘way more needs to be done to demonstrate that a lorry park the size of Disneyland is better than the alternatives offered during the inquiry’. 

And, since the unprecedented events of Summer 2015, Operation Stack has not once been enforced. Shepway Green Party fully supports the terrific efforts of local residents and Stanford Parish Council to oppose the monstrosity. For regular updates and to see how you can get involved, visit http://soskent.org.uk/