£30m no-deal Brexit scheme dismantled on roads to Dover

January 17, 2020

M20 barriers removed as Operation Brock system is taken apart before 31 January.

Traffic passing through Operation Brock on the M20 in October last year. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

 

The £30m no-deal Brexit traffic management system operating on the main roads to Dover is being fully dismantled before the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January.

 

The steel barriers in place to allow for a contraflow system on the M20 to mitigate against lorry gridlock on the way to the port are being removed after 11 months.

 

The operation to remove the barriers, close gaps in the central reservation system for emergency access, and repaint the roads will take two weeks of overnight work. The roads would be back to normal on 1 February, the day after Brexit, Highways England said.

 

This is the third time the anti-congestion system, known as Operation Brock, has been deactivated but the first time all the barriers are to be removed. They were first put in place for the original Brexit day, 29 March last year. Operation Brock also included a 30mph speed limit for trucks.

 

The contraflow part of the system and a 50mph speed limit for cars was deactivated in April following the first extension to article 50 but were put in place again on 25 October before another potential no-deal crash out on 31 October. Boris Johnson had declared he would rather die in a ditch than ask the EU for another extension.

 

They were deactivated again on 29 October when the EU agreed to a further extension until 31 January, but the barriers remained in place to allow Operation Brock to be quickly reactivated if necessary.

 

Following parliament’s decision to approve the withdrawal agreement, Highways England decided it was safe to remove the barriers too.

 

The barrier was in place on a 15-mile section of the M20 between Maidstone and Ashford since March 2019.

 

About 1,500 metres of barrier have been removed every night since Monday.

 

The operation will continue until 28 January when the last restrictions will be removed before the road is back to normal on 1 February.

 

Source: The Guardian

 

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