17 APR 2019

M20 is now the nation's slowest motorway

The M20 has become the slowest motorway in the UK and residents across Kent are furious.

Steel barriers were put up between Junctions 8 and 9 London-bound, so traffic can flow in both directions when there are delays at the Channel ports. But it means another large section of the M20 has a reduced speed limit.

Junction 10 currently has a 50mph limit because of roadworks to complete the new Junction 10A, while Junctions 3 to 5 has one during upgrades to become a "smart motorway". Both projects are due to be completed in 2020.

In recent days a decision had been made to "deactivate" Operation Brock by returning the 70mph limit on the three coastbound lanes. But the steel barriers on the London-bound side, including the 50mph limit, will remain in place.

Residents are furious. Operation Brock is not a solution. It means yet another section of our motorway has a reduced speed limit. The M20 now has to be the slowest motorway in the country. The most frustrating part is there are solutions and they are simple. We need long-term investment – in things like lorry parks and a dualled A2. This had been needed for years. If we just got on with it, we wouldn't need these bizarre, go-slow traffic schemes.

In recent weeks I arranged for a joint letter from all east Kent MPs and council leaders to ministers at the Department for Transport. It urged them to release funding for a feasibility study to dual the A2 to the Port of Dover, and for the scheme to be included in the next Road Investment Strategy. I am due to have talks with roads minister in the coming weeks.


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Charlie Elphicke

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