Latest Operation Stack News

£250 Million to Solve Operation Stack M20

The Chancellor in the Autumn Statement 2015 (25 November 2015) allocated £250 Million to provide a permanent solution to Operation Stack M20. The Leader of Kent County Council stated in his evidence to the Transport Select Committee, House of Commons on the 14 October 2015 that he seeks two lorry parks near the M20 of 1,000 and 4,000 lorries in capacity.

 

Operation Stack in July/August 2015 cost UK STG 7 Billion.

28 days of Operation Stack in July/August 2015 is estimated (based on the Port of Dover STG £250 Million per day calculation) to have cost the UK STG £7 Billion in costs and lost business.

The SEA Solution, Sellindge-Evegate/Aldington (3,000 lorries, between J10-J11 M20), to Operation Stack was selected on technical merit by Government Office of the South East (GOSE) in 2006 and then by Kent County Council (KCC), Kent Police and the Freight Transport Association in 2008, re-confirmed by KCC in 2013. If Central Government can fund Kent County Council to deliver this technically best solution soon, these funds could be clawed-back from the development under the Ashford Growth Area targets of 31,000 houses and 28,000 jobs.

Paul Carter, Leader, Kent County Council stated in his written Submission to the Transport Select Committee, House of Commons (Operation Stack) on the 14 October 2015, that: ‘6.3 Under instruction from Government to deliver a solution “at pace”, a subsequent report to the Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBR) in August outlined a package of on and off-highway measure to hold approximately 5,500-6,500 HGVs which includes:

  • Potential lorry holding area close to the M20 capable of catering for approximately 4,000 HGVs;
  • Potential extension of STOP24 lorry park site capable of catering for up to 1,000 HGVs.’

 

Funding The SEA (Sellindge-Evegate/Aldington) Proposal: Solving Operation Stack M20:

Operation Stack M20 involves the parking of up to 3,000 lorries on the M20 when the Channel Tunnel and/or the Dover ferry crossings are closed, which causes the sporadic but highly-disruptive seizing-up of a major national (and trans-European) road artery system. Delivering a long-term solution to Operation Stack M20 solution is Objective 1 in Kent County Council's Freight Action Plan 2012-2016; and the selected (relief lorry park) location is at Sellindge-Evegate/Aldington (SEA, hereinafter) between Junction 10 and 11 on the M20.

The Kent Count Council now seek funding to deliver this plan for Operation Stack Lorry park. MPL consider the KCC plan should be modified to provide a new adjacent Junction 10B at Sellindge-Evegate/Aldington on the M20 Ashford, Kent, and a link road to the A2070 thereby providing a longer term comprehensive strategic infrastructure solution to the Ashford Growth Agenda of 31,000 houses (including 4,600 to be built by the Church Commissioners partners) and 28,000 jobs.

KCC is now seeking funding to deliver its solution to this significant national and European road transport problem.

Funding could come from several sources, for example:

  • Infrastructure UK;
  • European Union Trans European Network (EU TEN-T) Funding;
  • The Department for Transport;
  • The Highways Agency;
  • The Green Investment Bank;
  • EU SETPOS (Secure European Truck Park Operational Services) Project;
  • Lorry Park/Truck Stop concession payments.
  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) under (eg. the TIFF or LGTT Scheme).

In addition the following sources might be available:

  • HM Customs (capital cost and rental for secure area for examining and holding illegal contraband).
  • Kent Police (capital cost and rental for secure area for lorry impounding, storage, office etc.).
  • Highways Agency and/or Vehicle and Services Operator Agency, VOSA, (capital cost and rental for a weighbridge and office).
  • Pre-ticketing of Lorries (at Calais for inbound and at start of journey for outbound, linked to travel plans and techograph?).
  • Premier Inns or equivalent (capital cost and rental for low cost overnight accommodation and R&R facilities); other Site Concessions at the Truck Stop.
  • S106 Town and Country Planning Act (1990), developer's financial contribution from associated lands.
  • CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) funds, under the Planning Act, 2008.
  • The (reported as proposed) Motorway Entry Fee Tax if enacted.
  • Heavy Goods Vehicle charging revenue (Euro-vignette/"Brit Disc").

Funds could take the form of capital grants, annual contributions, loans on advantageous terms or other forms of support, e.g. guarantees from Infrastructure UK or the European Investment Bank.

MPL will assist and work with KCC and its partners to secure the necessary funding to deliver its solution.

 

Policy Agenda and Momentum to deliver the SEA (Sellindge-Evegate/Aldington) Proposal: Solving Operation Stack M20:

The UK government is placing infrastructure firmly at the centre of its growth strategy. Key initiatives include:

  • The creation of Infrastructure UK within HM Treasury’s (Enterprise and Growth Directorate) in 2010;
  • The laying down of the National Infrastructure Plan in 2011 (updated 2012);
  • The establishment of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in 2012 by DCLG;
  • The passage of the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act in 2012; enabling the HM Government to underwrite major infrastructure projects under the UK Guarantee Scheme (launched 18/7/12);
  • The appointment of Lord Deighton (former CEO of LOCOG) as Commercial Secretary [Infrastructure Minister] to HM Treasury in September 2012 (effective 8/1/13) with a brief from the Government to oversee/fast forward/speed up UK infrastructure delivery).

Related legislative developments include the current passage of the HGV Road Users Levy Bill 2012, and the Growth and Infrastructure Bill 2012, through the Houses of Parliament.

Monserat Properties Ltd seeks to work within this context of positive evolving infrastructure policies to enable the delivery of a transport project at Sellindge-Evegate/Aldington (SEA) Proposal of substantive public value and long term general benefit.

In June of 2013, Her Majesty’s Treasury committed the funding required to build all pipeline Highways Agency road projects. Among the projects, subject to finalisation of options and agreement being reached on developer contributions, is a new junction onto the M20, near Ashford Kent, complemented by a link road to the A2070 at Ashford and connect to the A20.

This is a significant step forward for:

  • Kent County Council (KCC); as a new M20 junction, if located at Sellindge-Evegate/ Aldington would provide the infrastructure to serve a lorry park located at Sellindge-Evegate/ Aldington, KCCs longstanding preferred site for a permanent solution to Operation Stack as reaffirmed by the KCC cabinet minister for transport as recently as March 2013.
  • Highways Agency; as an offline solution to Operation Stack obviates the need for lorries to be parked on the coastbound carriageway of the M20 for days at a time.
  • Ashford Borough Council; as a new M20 junction, if located at Sellindge-Evegate/ Aldington would significantly boost highway capacity opening up land, including that held by the Church Commissioners and AXA REIM, to the south-east of Ashford for future development and economic regeneration

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Budget 2014 (March 2014) that ‘Development Corporations’ would be used to deliver housing development and enable infrastructure.

Solving Operation Stack M20: Boosting Business: Enabling Regeneration