What we know so far

THE ISSUES:-
Operation stack:-
• Is put in place to manage flows crossing the channel through Dover and Eurotunnel when the service is disrupted by bad weather, technical or operational issues, blockages within the ports (e.g. migrant activity or industrial action in Calais.
• Implemented for 32 days in 2015, in January due to a fire in the tunnel, and during June and July where it was in operation for 521 hours from 23 June. This raised the issue to a national level and accelerated the work to find a solution.
• Interim measures were proposed were the flow issues to continue which included the use of Manston Airport as a temporary lorry holding area.
• Since July 2015 operation stack has not been implemented despite increasing migrant issues in France, where other issues, such as the erection of a fence to protect Eurotunnel traffic, seems to have prevented migrant activity halting cross channel traffic.
Access to channel crossings:-
• Dover TAP – This is a traffic management measure to hold HGV traffic outside of Dover to be released as port capacity becomes available. This solution prevents traffic blocking the roads in Dover.
• Often queues for the channel tunnel and Dover TAP stretch back to junction 11 of the M20.
Overnight lorry parking:-
• Depending on the source between 500 and 1,500 lorries are parked overnight on Kent’s roads, due to drivers required to take their rest periods, and/or waiting to cross the channel / continue their journey. This happens to both HGVs entering the UK across the channel (where they rush to get across to avoid being held in Calais where the migrant activity is taking place) and to HGVs leaving the UK; i.e. to flow in both directions.
• Actions have been trialled by local councils to enforce parking restrictions for lorries through fixed penalty notices and follow-up.
ACTIONS RESULTING:-
• COBR (the government crisis response committee) requested that a preferred solution be put to them for their meeting of 21/8/2015. The proposal put to them by KCC contained:-
A. Strengthening the hard shoulder M20 J8-10 coastbound and amendments to central reserve J10-11a to improve resilience and flexibility of use of link
B. Potential improvements to A20 in and around Dover to increase capacity and remove bottlenecks
C. Increased use of traffic technology to improve communications and management of Operation Stack
D. Potential lorry park close to the M20 capable of catering for approximately 4,000 HGVs.
E. Potential extension of STOP24 lorry park site capable of catering for up to 1,000 HGVs.
This package of measures would cater for 1,500 -6,500 HGVs (1,500 being held on carriage ways) and was preliminarily costed at £468m (1).
• In the Autumn 2015 the government set funds aside to build a permanent area where lorries can wait to their turn to cross the channel without causing disruption to the local economy.(2)
• Two sites have been selected as potentially suitable for the M20 lorry area to the west and north east of M20 junction 11. These would possibly have the following functions:-
A. Emergency use as part of operation stack.
B. General Disruption – A above plus the management of the queues resulting from Dover TAP and approaching the Eurotunnel terminal.
C. A and B above plus chargeable basic overnight parking. Parking would be free during operation stack.
D. A,B and C above plus a lorry focussed motorway service area.
TIMELINES:-

21st August 2015 Deadline for proposal to be put to COBR by KCC (tbc)
11TH December 2015 Stakeholder briefing by Highways England at Sellindge Sports and social club
12th December to 25th January 2016 – public consultation period

ENVIRONMENTAL

Both the proposed sites are in the green belt of Kent, beside Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If a lorry park is allowed on either site they will be a visible blot on the landscape from many aspects, especially when viewed from the escarpment in the nearby ANOB. Despite recent claims that the Government is supporting schemes to safeguard British agricultural land from being purchased for other uses and keeping it in food production, this proposal will destroy 150 acres of prime arable land. The diverse flora and fauna currently present will be sacrificed forever. Depending which site is chosen a lake, waterways and mature vegetation will be removed. We understand from local residents that there are bats and newts – amongst other potential endangered species on site. Expert help from ecologists is being sought and we understand the Highways England are now monitoring air quality.

• The World Heath Authority & the British Medical Council have linked Diesel imitations to 28.000 (twenty eight thousand) premature deaths in the UK each year. The UK government accept these findings.
• Diesel HGV traffic produces the largest amount of emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide and particulate matter 2.5, that are extremely harmful to public health.
• Particulate 2.5 which are produced by diesel engines are so small that the human lung cannot filter them and thus they go straight into the blood stream. These particulates are directly linked to cancers, heart disease and lung disease, which all medical bodies accept cause premature death to thousands of people each year in the UK. There is no safe limit to these particulates entering the human body.
• Having one enormous lorry park as proposed in option 1, of 3500-5000 HGV with their diesel engines would increase significantly over and above the current emissions from the traffic using M20. The health and safety hazards caused by this proposed site would greatly increase the risk to the village communities of Sellindge, Stanford and Westenhanger and without doubt, cause the premature death of its residents.
• These pollutants cause most harm to the young and elderly. Sellindge has both a primary school and a substantial elderly demographic population.
• Under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human rights, public authorities should consider your right to life when making decisions that might put you in danger or which affect your life expectancy.
• Clearly having 3500-5000 HGV next to three village residential communities, producing pollutants linked to 28000 premature deaths in the UK, is going to effect the health and life expectancy of the local community.
• This size proposed Lorry Park would be in breach of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, “Right to Life”.
Human rights legislation:
Article 2 of the Human Rights Act requires the government and local authorities to protect human life. This means that nobody – including the government – can try to end your life. It also means that you have the right to be protected if your life is at risk. Similarly, public authorities should consider your right to life when making decisions that might put you in danger or which affect your life expectancy.

Article 1 of the Human Rights Act (The protection of property) gives every person the right to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions. This imposes an obligation on the State not to: Interfere with peaceful enjoyment of property; Deprive a person of their possessions; or Subject a person’s possession to control.
STAKEHOLDERS:-
Direct stakeholders:-
Stanford, Sellindge, Lympne Parish Council (and others?)
Freight Transport Association
Kent County Council
Highways England
Damian Collins MP
Highways England
Shepway District Council
CPRE Kent
Road Haulage Association
Residents of Stanford North and South, Sellindge, Lympne, and surrounding communities
UK Government
Police
Fire Service