Operation Brock – a Kent traffic management system intended to keep vehicles moving when there is disruption to travel across the English Channel – is leaving hundreds of HGV drivers stuck without access to basic hygiene facilities, food and water, according to Logistics UK, one of the UK’s biggest business groups.
Heidi Skinner, Policy Manager – South at Logistics UK, comments: “Logistics UK is calling for an urgent review into the effectiveness of Operation Brock as a traffic management scheme, and most importantly, the humanitarian issues it raises as HGV drivers are left unable to access basic hygiene facilities, food and drink; local residents are also left to cope with challenging road diversions and disruption. Over the past couple of weeks, Operation Brock has been implemented for its first period of prolonged use and there are undoubtedly lessons that need to be learned. HGV drivers accessing the Short Straits (the quickest way to get from the UK to the European Continent) have to use the set route to join the queuing system, and must stop to use facilities before they get too far along the route, as, once their vehicles enter the queueing system, these drivers have no access to any facilities at all, including toilets. HGV drivers must be given access to basic welfare facilities while in long queues; this review is needed urgently, and we must consider how our HGV drivers can be better provided for when there are delays in accessing our ports in Kent.
“In the meantime, we need to see a rapid reinstatement of full ferry capacity before the weekend; this has been the key contributing factor to the traffic queues, along with ferries that were out of action due to damage, bad weather and increased friction at the border caused by the UK’s departure from the EU.”