'We need portaloos down the M20': Fears 39,000 lorries will be BLOCKED from ...

Portaloos and food and drink facilities for haulage drivers will line the M20 in Kent in preparation for the 7,000 lorries predicted to be stuck in static traffic on January 1. 

With two-day-long queues expected to halt the industry when the EU implement full import controls on the UK at the start of next year, industry executives have demanded that provisions be made for the welfare of drivers.

Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, who will be meeting with Michael Gove, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on Friday said: 'The devil is in the detail, we need to understand, will there be portaloos down the M20? Will we be able to get water and food to drivers? 

'We want that clarity out of Friday's meeting to make sure that level of detail is being considered.'  

Discussing the number of trucks expected to be held on their way to UK ports Mr Burnett said: 'There's going to be 2,000 trucks on the M20, 2,000 trucks on Mojo in Ashford [Sevington, Kent], another site, and potentially 4,000 in Manston [Kent].'

A view of lorries queuing on the M20 motorway for Eurotunnel in Folkestone, Kent, September 25, 2020

A view of lorries queuing on the M20 motorway for Eurotunnel in Folkestone, Kent, September 25, 2020

Richard Ballantyne, CEO of British Ports Association, said that the 'risk' of queues at ports following January 1 'doesn't have to be realised if the government takes a pragmatic approach'.

He added: 'We are waiting for clarity of what support [facilities] drivers will have who are in these queues. This is not just about Kent, it's facilities across the country.

'What are those facilities and infrastructure going to be for drivers who are stuck in queues across the country - something we will touch on Friday.'

Speaking in a committee today on Brexit preparedness in the transport sector Rachel Maclean MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport said: 'It is absolutely vital we consider the welfare of drivers and hauliers as these are hardworking people, we rely on the haulage industry for a supply of critical goods and we must consider their welfare.

Lorries queuing on M20 because of police checks at Dover, 17 Sep 2020

Lorries queuing on M20 because of police checks at Dover, 17 Sep 2020

Lines of heavy goods vehicles and cargo lorries are seen queued along the M20 motorway as part of the Operation Stack traffic control plan, on September 24, 2020 near Ashford, England

Lines of heavy goods vehicles and cargo lorries are seen queued along the M20 motorway as part of the Operation Stack traffic control plan, on September 24, 2020 near Ashford, England

'We have detailed plans for provision of not only portaloos but other facilities for drivers, not only in Kent if there is stationary traffic, but other places in the country.'

Maclean said: 'We are working in a lot of detail with the Kent Resilience Forum. We will be drawing on a combination of temporary lorry holding at A20 Dover TAP [Traffic Assessment Project] site, M20 between junction 8 and 9 and off-road sites and also we are procuring some temporary lorry holding capacity at Ashford, Sevington, the wider plan will feed all of that into using those sites if it becomes necessary if Operation Brock is active.'

The committee also raised the issue of the severe limits expected to face UK hauliers if bilateral agreements with EU member states are not made, or delayed, in the case of a no deal. 

Portaloo's will line the M20 as part of 'Operation Brock'

Portaloo's will line the M20 as part of 'Operation Brock'

Industry leaders warned that up to 39,000 UK haulage

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