17 OCT 2017

MP Calls for Swift Building of Lorry Park

Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant has leant her support to a letter seeking assurances from the Secretary of State for Transport that the proposed M20 lorry park will be built swiftly.

The letter to Chris Grayling, signed by 11 MPs from across Kent, sets out in stark detail the economic cost of gridlock on Kent's roads. It reinforces the message that, in 2015, Operation Stack cost the Kent economy £46 million. It also suggests that the danger of further gridlock is ever increasing with the number of lorries on Kent's roads projected to double by 2025.

The MPs contend that there is an urgent need for a lorry park to keep Kent's roads clear for the long term and secure the free passage of lorries into the UK. They also believe that the park would provide a sustainable solution to the fly parking of lorries which continues to blight haulage roots across the County.

In response to the letter, the Secretary of State has agreed to meet with Helen and other Kent MPs at the end of October, to discuss the construction of the lorry park.

Helen said, 'Like many Kentish residents, I remember the summer of 2015 for operation stack and the enormous disruption, frustration and economic cost it caused. As we prepare to leave the European Union it is essential that we have the strategic infrastructure we require to thrive as a trading nation.

The Lorry Park would mean that one of the key routes onto our nation's road network remains gridlock free and ensure that the people of Maidstone and the Weald are no longer confronted with the Op. Stack nightmare.'

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke, who was the lead signatory on the letter, said: "It's vital to make sure we are ready on day one for Brexit, deal or no deal. We can't wait until the last moment to make sure we have resilient roads and strong borders.

"That's why the Department for Transport needs to act now to make sure that the long-suffering residents of Kent don't have to put up with Operation Stack happening in the future."

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Helen's column

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