M20 closure in Kent as Operation Brock returns for bank holiday weekend

Lorry queues on the M20 in Folkestone, Kent, when Operation brock is in place.
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Drivers will once again need to contend with disruption from Operation Brock over the coming days as the contraflow system is reinstated ahead of the bank holiday weekend. An overnight closure of the M20 between Maidstone and Ashford will take place tonight (Wednesday, May 22) to allow the system to be implemented along the busy motorway.

Between 8pm and 6am, the London-bound carriageway will shut from Junction 9 to 8, while the coastbound carriageway will close between Junctions 7 and 9. Fully signed diversion routes will be in place while these stretches of the M20 are closed overnight.

A spokesperson for National Highways added: “These times have been chosen to minimise disruption to road users.” Once the road re-opens on Thursday, May 23, Operation Brock will be in effect along a 13-mile stretch of the motorway and all signs will need to be followed.

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All HGV traffic headed to the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel must follow the signs to join Operation Brock at the M20's Junction 8 for Leeds Castle and Maidstone Services. Any EU-bound HGVs found not following the contraflow system and trying to use another route to access the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel risks landing a £300 fine.

This includes trying to bypass the M20 by using the M2 or A2 at Brenley Corner. Those found trying to avoid Operation Brock would also then be sent to the back of the queue by police or enforcement officers.

All other coastbound traffic, including local freight and cars headed to Europe, will need to follow the signs and cross over to enter the contraflow on the M20 London-bound carriageway. Vehicles journeying along the contraflow must adhere to a 50mph speed limit.

The Junction 8 coast-bound slip road has also been closed to all traffic. Those who are planning to head to the Eurotunnel or the port are urged to plan their journeys ahead and check for any updates from their chosen travel operator before heading out.

The National Highways spokesperson added: “They should also allow more time for their journeys and make sure they are prepared for delays, so should have plenty of fuel, warm clothes, and supplies such as food and drink.” A time and date that the contraflow will be lifted following the bank holiday weekend has not yet been announced.

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