Work has begun on turning a second highway into Kent into a potential post-Brexit truck parking lot to handle tailbacks in the Channel Tunnel and ports that should introduce customs controls.
The M26 will remain closed all night until next week, when England's highways will investigate the site and then again for more than a month before Christmas to install the gates in the central reserve.
The beginning of the work was not disclosed to the local Conservative MP, Tom Tugendhat, who criticized the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, for apparently giving up insurance. Grayling said he was sure the emergency measure would not be needed after Brexit.
The Department of Transportation has already allocated a 1
It has now been revealed that ministers are also planning to use the M26, a 10-mile highway linking the M25 to the M20 in Kent, to park
Highways England said: "In the As part of broader resilience planning, Highways England has been invited by the Department of Transportation to develop plans to use the M26 for the possession of heavy vehicles, further capacity should be required in the future.
# 39; October we will carry out inspections on the M26 that will lead to the installation of two ports in the central reserve to support the safe handling of goods in the future, if necessary. "
Drivers will be diverted around the M25 and M20 between 22:00 and 5:00, doubling the travel time.
The news emerged as the furious local MP told the Commons that Grayling and the motorways in England had assured him and the electors that there were no Ned jobs, until Wednesday when the closures started.
Tugendhat said: "A big step has come when a member discovers that work has begun on a highway to turn that highway into a parking lot without consulting either with the local community or even with members. surrounding areas.
"The work of M26 began last night. I wrote to [Grayling] in April asking if this would happen or not. I was assured that the jobs were not scheduled and only yesterday was it confirmed to me that Highways England had said it was exactly what was planned, even though I had said the opposite only a week ago. "
He called the secretary Explain how planning permission was granted with" no consultation ".
Grayling asked to meet Tugendhat to discuss the problem, adding:" I do not expect the contingencies that we need to be necessary. in place for a Brexit without a contract, because I am confident that we will reach a reasonable agreement. "
Road hauliers and entrepreneurs have long warned of the potential for chaos after the Brexit, if additional checks slow down the progress of the vehicles.In 2015, the interruptions in Calais led to queues of lorries in Kent that were managed under The Operation Stack, and the DfT is looking for better ways to handle the freight vehicles stranded after the roads have been locked in. He paid millions of pounds to the owners of the abandoned Manston Airport in Kent as emergency stop.
While the Brock operation is still being worked out as a temporary plan, local councils have warned that a planned and dedicated truck fleet could be years away.