With the lifting of restrictions on international travel on July 19, the roads of Kent are prepared.

That’s the message from the Kent Resilience Forum, a partnership of organizations working to keep the county’s roads moving.

Rising passport controls, along with pent-up demand, could see Kent’s roads inundated with vacationers. File photo: Nadine Hudson

Made up of groups comprising Kent County Council and Kent Police, the group says it is ready to shoulder its responsibilities when people travel to Dover and Folkestone to travel to Europe.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today confirmed plans to remove guidelines advising people not to travel to Amber List countries.

Additionally, fully vaccinated UK nationals – and those under the age of 18 – will not need to self-quarantine upon their return from countries classified as amber.

The change means popular destinations such as France and Spain will be available for people on double doses who cannot afford to self-isolate upon their return to England.

This expected easing of restrictions comes after Britain officially leaves the European Union, so the Kent Resilience Forum is reminding travelers that full passport checks will be in effect, causing further delays at the border.

Operation Brock could be used if Kent's roads get too congested
Operation Brock could be used if Kent’s roads get too congested

The leaders also urged tourists to check their passports, which must be valid for at least six months.

One measure that could be used in the coming weeks is Operation Brock, the traffic mitigation program that was used during disruption over the Christmas period.

This could include the movable barrier used on the M20 between Ashford and Maidstone as needed, having been unused on the emergency lane since its last use in April.

Kent County Council noted that stacking trucks at Manston Airfield is no longer an option, as the government’s lease expired at the end of June.

Kent Police Chief Superintendent Mark Nottage said: “While it’s understandable that people want to make the most of summer vacation and get abroad when they can, we recognize the potential to disruption to Kent roads which can result from vehicles heading to ports in a relatively short period of time combined with the introduction of increased border controls.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed that tourists to France and Spain will not have to isolate themselves on their return
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed that tourists to France and Spain will not have to isolate themselves on their return

“It is therefore essential that anyone planning to travel to Kent follows the latest government advice and information from their tour operator, and be prepared for potential delays which could also impact the ability of freight to cross the Channel.

“We continue to work with our partners at the Kent Resilience Forum to plan a reasonable worst-case scenario and help us meet our shared responsibilities to protect the public and move Kent forward.”

Simon Jones, KCC’s director of strategic planning for highways and head of strategic planning for the Kent Resilience Forum, said :, will increase the risk of disruption on county roads over the coming weeks.

Any traffic mitigation plan will have to forgo the use of Manston, as the government's lease ended last month
Any traffic mitigation plan will have to forgo the use of Manston, as the government’s lease ended last month

“We are particularly watching the weekend of July 24-25, the first weekend of the school holidays, when many families are likely to hit the road and leave for a well-deserved break at home or abroad after several months. tough COVID restrictions.

“The KRF has updated traffic management plans ready to help keep Kent moving and protect local residents and businesses.

“We also need the public’s help to think a little differently about traveling this summer – our first outside the EU – and to prepare for delays.

Whether it’s a long drive or a short drive, all drivers should plan their journey before setting off, be ready for queues and stay tuned for the latest news on traffic and travel

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