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24th June 2015 - Press Release

Industrial action in Port of Calais: local road traffic management update

Due to the on-going exceptional circumstances in the Port of Calais and following consultation with our partners, including Kent Police and Highways England, it has been agreed to temporarily suspend the new traffic management system. Operation Stack has been implemented on the M20 until the industrial action ceases and the backlog of freight traffic is cleared.

The traffic management system, introduced in April for an initial trial period, is designed to regulate the flow of traffic and reduce the impact of queuing traffic forming through Dover during busy periods. It is not designed to be utilised during times where Operation Stack is imposed, which is currently in place as a result of industrial action in France, affecting both Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover. The new road layout is not designed to hold vehicles for a prolonged period and having drivers stop and exit their vehicles poses a risk to all road users.

Tim Waggott, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover says:

“Following consultation with our partners, including Kent Police and Highways England, it has been agreed to temporarily suspend the traffic management system on safety grounds. Although we will collectively seek to improve the operational efficiency of the new traffic management system, at this time, the most important issue is the safety of people using the A20.”

Operation Stack (OS) is an emergency measure for use when travel to Europe is severely disrupted. OS seeks to keep traffic moving safety and smoothly for both Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover.  Temporary suspension of traffic measures along the A20 has resulted in some local traffic congestion around the town of Dover. OS remains under continuous review by all partners.

New traffic management measures are seeking to find a long-term solution to address the impact of a growing economy and the effects that the resultant traffic is having on the Port's customers and the local community. Highways England is collecting data in order to reduce the impact of traffic queues forming through Dover on the A20 by assessing the long-term suitability of the current road layout.  Until this incident, the new system has delivered a wide range of benefits which has directly improved local road networks for Dover businesses, Port users and the community alike.

ENDS

Issued by Corporate Affairs on 01304 240400 (ext. 4410 from 8.30 – 17.00)

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