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Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

George Koowaree presses for Operation Brock to be lifted immediately

October 28, 2019 3:37 PM

George Koowaree says that Highways England should remove the M20 contraflow between Jct. 9 in Ashford and Jct. 8 in Maidstone as soon as possible. The London bound lane restrictions have been in place since April. Earlier today Highways England reintroduced the coastbound contraflow, resulting in M20 traffic being restricted to two narrow lanes each way. George Koowaree

"Thankfully, a no-deal or disorderly Brexit at the end of October appears to have been averted", says George. "So, there is absolutely no need for this contraflow on M20."

George Koowaree, who represents Ashford East at KCC, continues: "Local residents and other motorway users are fed up with the problems on the M20. The slightest incident often results in serious congestion and the motorway appears to be very dangerous. Many people have complained about the narrow lanes, particularly with so many foreign-registered HGVs flouting the 50mph limit. And people are also worried by the lack of any safe refuge areas and the absence of overhead warning signs."

"At the County Council meeting earlier this month I questioned the Cabinet Member about the safety of this stretch of the M20 and it is clear that KCC share many of these concerns." [See below]

"With fog and ice likely in the next few weeks, there is a serious risk of a really nasty incident on the M20. Highways England needs to take the barriers down as quickly as possible."


Question by George Koowaree to Mike Whiting, Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport & Waste (Kent County Council, 17 October 2019)

Is the Cabinet Member satisfied that Highways England have taken adequate steps to maintain road safety between junctions 9 & 8 of the M20 and if not, what actions has he taken to ensure Highways England implement the necessary safety measures?


I have asked for changes to the road layout to separate lorries from light vehicles and cars, but Highways England has said this is not possible.

They have continually assured us that adequate steps have been taken to maintain road safety between junctions 9 & 8 of the M20. They have carried out safety audits and imposed a 50mph speed limit throughout the scheme. Average speed cameras are in place to manage the speed limit. In addition, Traffic Officers regularly patrol the scheme.

Operation Brock will be implemented over the weekend of 26 and 27 October and come into force from 28 October.