Customs post at Ashford MOJO site will make M20 traffic like ‘Operation Stack every day’

Construction has started on Britain's first customs post in 27 years – in Ashford.

But a Folkestone City Council has criticized the plans and says it will "be like Operation Stack every day."

Last week the government secretly bought the 11-hectare MOJO site on the M20 near Ashford.

It serves as a Brexit customs clearance center for processing the 10,000 trucks that travel daily from Calais through the port of Dover.

The Ashford NHS 111 call center is closed for thorough cleaning after employees test positive for coronavirus

Work on securing the site and surveying the land, approximately 20 miles from the port, should begin on Monday (July 13).

There are fears that traffic on the M20 will be very heavy

In a letter to the residents of Rachel Maclean, MP and Parliamentary Secretary of State for Transport, the residents were sent: "We are writing to let you know that the Department of Transportation has identified this as & # 39; MOJO & # 39; known property (Church Road, Sevington, Ashford).

“Preparatory work on the western package is planned for Monday, July 13th.

“This includes: securing the site by fencing, grass and weed vegetation, extensive surveying work, building a temporary site office and building a temporary access to the site via the A2070 connecting road.

“Plans to use this website are ongoing, but are expected to be part of the ministry's strategy to minimize potential disruption in Kent's ports for the end of the transition period.

“This is likely to include temporary capacity for holding late trucks and border control facilities that government agencies (e.g. HM Revenue and Customs) need to do.

"More detailed information will be made available in due course."

"Wrong-headed" decision

Damian Green

This is the first official infrastructure the government has completed as part of a £ 705 million package to establish a Brexit border.

New money will also be used to finance new IT systems and 500 additional border guards.

Ashford MP Damian Green is against the plans and says the country is not suitable for use as a truck park. Delays in the port could increase traffic between Dover and Ashford and potentially disrupt both local drivers and those wishing to use the Eurotunnel terminal Volksstein.

Speaking to Michael Gove on Monday, Mr. Green said, “(Michael Gove) may be aware that I am considering deciding to have an outgoing emergency truck park in my constituency near several thousand new homes on one side and with to build a large nearby hospital on the other hand to be wrong.

“Can he confirm that if the Minister of Transport writes to me that it is not the government's plan to develop this area as a permanent truck park, it is indeed government policy and he can tell the house what the environmental impact assessment was for ? the site?"

Mr. Gove replied that no particular location had been confirmed and that part of this new infrastructure would only be temporary while others were permanent.

& # 39; Where will the back of the queue be? I bet at Clacket Lane Services.

Folkestone City Council, Tim Prater, is also firmly opposed to the plan, suggesting that it was "made up" by someone who "has never been here in his life, has never seen how cargo handling works, not as." Paperwork was looked at and was not at the intersection ”.

The port of Dover is currently served by two main corridors: the A2 / M2 and the M20 / A20.

However, if the MOJO location is the only customs location planned for the port, all 10,000 trucks must use the M20 for processing.

"I think what you're proposing is too small and too late – will you open it until January?" Cllr Prater asked.

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"Will they have the 20-hectare site and all of the software ready for use?

"When the truck in Ashford is cleared, what can stop someone from changing this between Ashford and Dover? That's why they usually have customs regulations in ports – so they can't. Nobody has thought about how to get trucks safely off Ashford to the Eurotunnel or to Dover.

“There will be an impact on the M20 if 10,000 trucks drive through a single entrance to the site around a new roundabout. Where will the queue end? I bet at Clacket Lane.

"It becomes like Operation Stack every day."

"I'll be thrilled if that's the only side."

Kevin Mills is a Dover District Council for the Buckland community
Kevin Mills is a Dover District Council for the Buckland community

Dover District Council Kevin Mills said people shouldn't be surprised that Brexit would lead to inland customs clearance, but expressed concerns that the government's "secrecy" was unclear as to whether the MOJO location was only location that would serve the port of Dover.

He added: "We have a third of the national trade, so we should have this type of facility in the southeast – you don't want it to be too far from the ports and it's near a freeway, but who wants to live next to you ? That is another problem.

“I think you will also look at other locations. I will be amazed if this is the only website.

"But I'm concerned about the lack of transparency – if you only post things the day before, it looks like you're trying to hide something, and that's not helpful."

"I am also enthusiastic, Damian Green knew nothing about it. If you do not want to tell your own MP there is also a problem.

"There could be potential problems with the M20. All you have to do is look back at Operation Stack to know that you need to keep as much traffic out of the port until it is ready to leave."

"Are you also looking for something on the A2? We do not know, it is too secret and that is of greatest concern. When you look at other websites, do we get a 24-hour notification? "

(tagsToTranslate) Ashford (t) M20 (t) A2 (t) Folkestone (t) Dover (t) Brexit

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