What is Operation Stack?

Operation Stack M20 involves the parking of up to 3,000 lorries on the M20 when the Channel Tunnel and/or the Dover ferry crossings are closed, which causes the sporadic but highly-disruptive seizing-up of a major national (and trans-European) road artery system. Delivering a long-term solution to Operation Stack M20 solution is Objective 1 in Kent County Council's Freight Action Plan 2012-2016; and the selected (relief lorry park) location is at Sellindge-Evegate/Aldington (SEA, hereinafter) between Junction 10 and 11 on the M20. This problem, and the impact, is set to worsen as truck movements on the M20 grow from the current circa 3.6 Million per year to 6 Million per year by 2031 (Dover Harbour Board).

The current status of a permanent lorry park solution is that Kent County Council (as at Wednesday the 12th March 2008) has selected Sellindge-Evegate/Aldington (The SEA Proposal) on the M20 as the best location for their solution to Operation Stack.

The operational improvement of the Eire/UK/continental Europe road linkages is also designated as High Priority under the major EU Initiative, the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Programme; and the M20 is a key element in these linkage systems.

The Kent Count Council now seek funding to deliver this plan for Operation Stack Lorry park. MPL consider the KCC plan should be modified to provide a new adjacent Junction 10B at Sellindge-Evegate/Aldington on the M20 Ashford, Kent, and a link road to the A2070 thereby providing a longer term comprehensive strategic infrastructure solution to the Ashford Growth Agenda of 31,000 houses (including 4,600 to be built by the Church Commissioners partners) and 28,000 jobs.

In June of 2013, Her Majesty’s Treasury committed the funding required to build all pipeline Highways Agency road projects. Among the projects, subject to finalisation of options and agreement being reached on developer contributions, is a new junction onto the M20, near Ashford Kent, complemented by a link road to the A2070 at Ashford and connect to the A20.

This is a significant step forward for:

  • Kent County Council (KCC); as a new M20 junction, if located at Sellindge-Evegate/ Aldington would provide the infrastructure to serve a lorry park located at Sellindge-Evegate/ Aldington, KCCs longstanding preferred site for a permanent solution to Operation Stack as reaffirmed by the KCC cabinet minister for transport as recently as March 2013.
  • Highways Agency; as an offline solution to Operation Stack obviates the need for lorries to be parked on the coastbound carriageway of the M20 for days at a time.
  • Ashford Borough Council; as a new M20 junction, if located at Sellindge-Evegate/ Aldington would significantly boost highway capacity opening up land, including that held by the Church Commissioners and AXA REIM, to the south-east of Ashford for future development and economic regeneration

Solving Operation Stack M20: Boosting Business: Enabling Regeneration