Address the man-made causes
Operation Stack is largely the result of man-made causes such as French industrial action and migrant incursion. These causes of the problem should be addressed before spending so much money on trying to fix the symptoms.
Upgrade A2 / M2 infrastructure
It makes no sense to have a single motorway to both the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Dover. The A2 needs urgently upgrading to be M2 all the way to Dover. This will mran that the bulk of Dover freight can then use the M2, thus distributing the flow of traffic. It will also offer a better alternative route to port, should one motorway be closed for any reason, causing less disruption.
The French have far more major routes to their ports, which is why they never suffer as we do when they have industrial action. Projections for increased freight over the next few years suggest that more investment should be made into improving infrastructure to relieve the overburdened M20.
Smaller lorry parks
£250 million is a huge amount to spend on a facility to be used infrequently. There are plenty of applications for smaller new or extended lorry parking facilities in Kent, also adjacent to motorways. Far more suitable for larger numbers of HGV’s on the M20, less than an hour from the tunnel and Dover, is a recently available brownfield site at Aylesford. If regular overnight parking is the issue, then smaller lorry parks spread across the motorway network in the South would be far more effective when both major routes are completed. Smaller facilities will cause less detrimental impact to individual communities.
Use of smart Technology
Haulage companies and cross Channel operators could adopt smarter ways of working together by using the smart technology available today. This would mean that hauliers, cross-channel operators, highways and lorry parks can work effectively together to ensure smooth traffic flow to ports and lorry parks, more efficient booking and loading.
eg instead of lorries gathering on local roads whilst playing off the ferry and tunnel operators for the last minute best deal, tickets should be purchased by app or on line before clogging local routes.
Freight by rail is a far more sustainable method of transporting freight. The UK needs far more investment into this opportunity as a long term measure.