With many from West Berkshire and beyond hoping to travel to France (and beyond) for their summer holidays, I know that the recent delays at Dover and Folkestone proved to be a significant inconvenience.
The Government was always clear that leaving the EU single market and customs union would mean changes at the border between Great Britain and the EU. That is why £705 million has been invested in border infrastructure, jobs and technology to support the operation of new processes. This included up to £470 million to build port and inland infrastructure and £235 million for additional staff and IT system. However, I appreciate that, despite this investment, the delays are still frustrating.
The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF), which is responsible for traffic management in Kent and the activation of Operation Brock on the M20, keeps the traffic management plans continually under review to ensure they are designed and implemented in the most effective way. And, following significant delays over the weekend of 22-24 July, the pressure did ease.
However, in response to constituents' concerns, I wrote to the Department for Transport regarding this and I am able to shared the response from Baroness Vere - the Minister responsible - below, for those that are interested.
I would note that the Government are working to ensure that this does not happen again through engagement with French counterparts and strengthened response plans. It is also significant that the following weekend (29-30 July) saw “no disruption...despite similarly high volumes of traffic”, which I hope will provide reassurance for those wishing to use this route for foreign travel in the future.