Overnight closures on the M20 to start tonight 12th March 2019

Written by on March 12, 2019

Drivers using the M20 between junctions 7 for Maidstone and 9 for Ashford in Kent are advised of overnight road closures starting tonight.

Diversions will be in place and drivers are advised to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.

Coastbound and London-bound closures are planned during this week and next.

The work is to prepare for the installation of temporary traffic gates in the central barriers between the carriageways as part of Operation Brock.

Operation Brock is a set of contingency measures designed to help keep traffic flowing on the motorway if there is disruption in the county. These measures also include Manston Airfield and the M26.

Work on the M20 coastbound carriageway starts tonight (Tuesday 12 March) at 8pm and is scheduled for completion by 6am on Thursday 14 March. The overnight closures (8pm to 6am) will be in place between junctions 7 (Maidstone) and 9 (Ashford) to enable the work to take place safely. One lane will be closed London bound but two lanes will be available for traffic.

Next week there will also be closures of the London bound carriageway, between junctions 9 and 7, starting on Monday 18 March for up to 7 nights. Again, overnight closures (8pm to 6am) will be in place between junctions 9 (Ashford) and 7 (Maidstone) to enable the safe completion of the work.

There is a possibility that a further coastbound overnight closures will also be required on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 March (2 nights, 8pm-6am), but this will depend on the progress of the work taking place this week. If the contraflow needs to activated a full overnight closure of the coast bound carriageway will be required on Friday 23 March.

During the overnight closures, clearly signed diversions will be in place via the A249, M2 and A2. Drivers using these diversions are advised to plan ahead and allow more time for their journeys.

Other work is also taking place during the closures, such as the installation of digital signage and improvements to the carriageway surface.

The temporary traffic gates will allow a contraflow to be activated on the London bound carriageway between junctions 7 and 9 if needed, with traffic crossing between carriageways to keep the M20, and Kent, moving in the event of cross channel disruption.

Operation Brock gives Kent Resilience Forum partners a set of scalable measures that can be used to queue lorries heading for mainland Europe, while keeping other traffic flowing.  Highways England is working in close partnership with Kent police, Kent County Council and the Department for Transport to ensure that each phase of Operation Brock can be deployed sequentially and scaled up or down to meet demand.

These new arrangements offer a significant improvement to Operation Stack and, crucially, keep the M20 open to traffic in both directions in all but the most extreme circumstances.

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