M20 closure: Britons risk £300 fine and traffic misery as Operation Brock launches before bank holiday

M20 closure: Britons risk £300 fine and traffic misery as Operation Brock launches before bank holiday

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Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 17/05/2024

- 09:54

National Highways has instructed drivers to follow designated routes

Motorists are being warned to prepare for traffic chaos on one of the UK's busiest motorways ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

National Highways has announced that it will be closing the M20 between Maidstone and Ashford overnight on Wednesday, May 22.

This is being done to allow the Operation Brock contraflow to be deployed on a 13-mile section of the M20 between junctions eight (Maidstone) and nine (Ashford).

Road traffic authorities are anticipating millions of drivers to use the popular motorway over the bank holiday weekend, resulting in the preparations.

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M20 traffic

Drivers are being urged to plan ahead before the road closure next week


Operation Brock is part of a series of measures to improve Kent's resilience to heavy levels of traffic, originally rolled out in preparation for the event of a no-deal Brexit.

It has been confirmed that the M20 will be closed - London bound from J9 to J8 and coastbound J7 to J9 – overnight from 8pm on Wednesday, May 22, to 6am on Thursday, May 23.

Anyone travelling during the impacted hours is being instructed to follow diversions set out by National Highways which will be signposted along the route.

With the upcoming bank holiday, National Highways is preparing for Britons to use the motorway to travel in and around Kent, with the Port of Dover expected to be particularly busy.

When the M20 reopens on Thursday, May 23, the Brock contraflow will be in place with drivers urged to follow all signs.

Once the barrier is in place, all HGVs heading for the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel must follow the signs to join Operation Brock at M20 J8.

However, drivers are being warned of the potential for fines, especially if they are trying to use another route to avoid the designated route.

Any HGV travelling to the European Union and not complying with the route to the Eurotunnel or Port of Dover could be slapped with a £300 fine.

National Highways stated: "They will also be sent to the back of the queue by Police or enforcement agents, wasting time, fuel, and money.

"This includes trying to bypass the M20 by using the M2/A2 at Brenley Corner.

"All other coast-bound traffic – including local freight and car drivers heading for the continent – should follow the signs and cross over to enter the contraflow on the M20 London bound carriageway."

As with any bank holiday period, drivers are urged to monitor traffic levels and plan ahead before making the journey.


Operation Brock on M20Operation Brock will remain in place on the M20PA

Drivers should ensure they prepare for delays, account for any traffic issues that could impact their journey and have plenty of food and water in the vehicle.

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