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Operation Brock contraflow to be activated ahead of Christmas period

The Operation Brock contraflow system on the M20 in Kent will be deployed from Monday 12 December ahead of the Christmas period and high passenger numbers, Kent Resilience Forum confirmed yesterday.

Operation Brock is part of a series of measures to improve Kent’s resilience and ensure the smooth flow of traffic through the region in the event of disruption to services across the English Channel.

To ensure safe deployment of the contraflow system, the M20 will be closed as follows:

9pm Wednesday 7 December to 6am Thursday 8 December: coastbound M20 between Junctions 7 to 9

9pm Thursday 8 December to 6am Friday 9 December: London bound M20 between junctions 9 to 8

9pm Friday 9 December to 6am Saturday 10 December: coastbound M20 between junctions 7 to 9

9pm Sunday 11 December to 6am Monday 12 December: London bound M20 between junctions 9-8 and the coastbound M20 between junctions 7-9.

Fully signed diversion routes will be place while the M20 is closed overnight.

When the M20 reopens at 6am on Monday 12 December, the Operation Brock contraflow will be in place and all signs and signals should be followed.

These times have been chosen to minimise disruption to road users.

Once the barrier is in place, all HGVs heading for the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel must follow the signs to join Operation Brock at M20 junction 8.

Any EU-bound HGVs not complying with signage and trying to use another route to Eurotunnel or the Port of Dover risk a fine of £300. They will also be sent to the back of the queue by Police or enforcement agents, wasting time, fuel and money. This includes trying to bypass the M20 by using the M2/A2 at Brenley Corner.

All other coast bound traffic – including local freight and car drivers heading for the continent – should follow the signs and cross over to enter the contraflow on the M20 London bound carriageway.

Sean Martell, National Highways head of service delivery said

“Ensuring the smooth flow of traffic through Kent is a top priority and we, along with our fellow Kent Resilience Forum partners, have taken the joint decision to activate the Operation Brock contraflow from the morning of Monday 12 December.

"While we understand this won't be welcome news for some, the decision was made taking several factors into consideration, including high peak passenger numbers.

"The crucial thing about the contraflow system is that it keeps Kent open and traffic moving in all but the most extreme circumstances. It’s also important that everyone follows the signs. Any HGV freight trying to jump the queue by using Brenley Corner will be turned back."

Anyone planning to use Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover are advised to plan their journeys and check with the travel operator before setting out. They should also allow more time for their journeys and make sure they are prepared for delays, so should have plenty of fuel, warm clothes, and supplies such as food and drink.

Simple vehicle checks can help drivers avoid breakdowns, have a safer journey, and save time and money. More information can be found by visiting:

As a member of the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF), National Highways is working in partnership with other bodies across Kent to keep the roads moving and minimise disruption to local residents, businesses and communities. The KRF will regularly review if the Operation Brock barrier is still required.

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