Operation Stack is an emergency traffic management system implemented along the UK’s M20 motorway when ferry and tunnel services across the English Channel are disrupted. Sections of motorway are closed, up to 3 000 lorries are parked in the empty lanes and other traffic is diverted on to smaller connecting roads.
Closing this major motorway route, often for days at a time, has a serious impact on local homes and businesses, freight operations and tourism to and from the Channel. The Freight Transport Association estimates that the operation costs suppliers GBP 750 000 per day in lost produce and delays.
In January 2015, the TEN-T programme announced a EUR 14 million project to enhance infrastructure and traffic management between Dover and Calais. Does the Commission agree that efforts to improve connectivity between the two ports must be combined with EU support in order to minimise the congestion and delays generated by Operation Stack?
Given that the Highways England Agency has opened a consultation on Operation Stack, can the Commission advise on any effective traffic management technologies, or examples of best practice, that may be useful in this situation?
Can the Commission explain what measures it is currently undertaking to resolve the underlying factors leading to disruption of services between Calais and Dover, and how these might be enhanced in the future?