August 05, 2020

Brexit: Lorry park and border control centre being built in Kent to deal with disruption

July 11, 2020

A border control centre and lorry park is being built in Kent to deal with potential disruption on the coast after the UK fully leaves the European Union in December.

The government has purchased land 20 miles from the Port of Dover in Ashford, with work due to start on Monday.

In a letter to residents, which has since been published on Facebook, junior transport minister Rachel Maclean said plans had not yet been finalised for the site but it "is anticipated to form part of the department's strategy to minimise potential disruption at Kent ports".

"This is likely to involve temporary capacity for the holding of delayed HGVs and facilities for border-related controls to be carried out by government agencies (eg HM Revenue and Customs)," the minister said.

Former cabinet minister and local MP Damian Green said the site, which is known as MOJO, would initially be used as a lorry park to deal with expected queues before being turned into a checking facility.

While he supported the new customs centre, Mr Green told Sky News he objected to the land being used as a lorry park as it will "take up much more space" and has been "sprung on the area with no consultation".

The exact size of the site is not known, but local Conservative councillor Paul Bartlett said he believed it would be bigger than the 11 hectares (27 acres) reported by the Guardian newspaper.

He added that the new development would bring much-needed employment to the area, but cautioned the government against using the land just to deal with delays.

"We do not want the site used as an Operation Brock-type lorry park," he said.

"We want the high end-use for HMRC, trading standards and scientific testing service."

Operation Brock saw changes to motorway traffic flows put in place in the South East of England to deal with congestion that could have been caused by a no deal Brexit.

Fencing will be installed at the Kent location on Monday along with preparatory work such as weeding and the construction of a temporary site office.

There has been concern that new Brexit customs checks could lead to backlogs at the border and delays on roads in the South East of England.

Earlier this week, a letter from international trade secretary Liz Truss was leaked to the Business Insider website in which the cabinet minister expressed her concern about the UK's ability to properly control borders after the transition period has come to an end next year.

A Department for Transport spokesman did not deny the letter was genuine but told Sky News the government does not comment on leaks.

Rate this item
(0 votes)

How to Listen

DAB+

Online

Mobile Apps

Smart Speaker

Latest Tweets

RT @FirstYork: Any customers travelling on our buses must follow Gov rules and wear a face covering, unless exempt. Please help our drivers…
RT @jameswattuk: It's the happy half hour at 10am!
Have a great #Tuesday with @GreatYorksRadio - the true voice of #Yorkshire with @JohnGHodgson @jameswattuk… https://t.co/zsPV4uqJHT
Follow GreatYorkshireRadio #WashYourHands on Twitter