Operation Stack announcement welcomed by Eurotunnel
The announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport, that a £250 million, 3,600 space lorry area will be constructed on land near to J11 on the M20, is clear recognition that the forecasts for growth in trade with continental Europe have not been downgraded following the result of the referendum on 24 June 2016. Eurotunnel continues to see increasing truck and passenger vehicle traffic, with 141 peak days forecast over the coming 6 months.
Operation Stack has not been implemented since August 2015 following the ending of the French ferry workers strike which blockaded the Port of Calais, the installation of improved security in the Calais area and the completion of additional buffer zones for trucks at J11A and the Port of Dover.
Eurotunnel forecasts growth in truck volumes from 1.5 million trucks pa in 2015 to c2.0 trucks pa in 2020, with a total cross-Channel market of c5.0 million trucks at that date.
As the M20 is currently the only motorway serving the vital Short Straits crossing between the UK and continental Europe, it is essential that these increased traffic volumes should be able to flow along this route. Improved signage and effective traffic management are essential components of ensuring traffic flow and must not be overlooked as the project to build the new off road truck area progresses.
Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive of Groupe Eurotunnel stated:
“I welcome The Secretary of State for Transport’s announcement of added resilience in the UK motorway network. It is proof that, in a post Brexit world, the Government still expects trade and tourism exchanges with continental Europe to continue to expand, which is great news for Eurotunnel”.