Drivers are urged to avoid using the A20 or M20 before this weekend to make way for trucks stuck in the travel chaos. The continued misery on Kent’s roads is set to worsen this weekend, largely due to Easter getaway traffic.
P&O Ferries, which has yet to resume service since its mass layoff, said crossings would remain suspended this weekend and rival DFDS is at full capacity. Thousands of trucks are already parked in a 23 mile long queue on the M20.
The freight car park is having a knock-on effect on surrounding roads in Kent, with vehicle checks on M2 and residential roads facing increased traffic. Now Maidstone Borough Council has taken a dramatic approach to the situation by pleading with drivers to stay away from the A20 and M20.
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The M20 should remain closed (east) coast between junctions 8 (Leeds Castle) and 11 (Hythe).
A council spokesperson said: “The closure has caused disruption for many Maidstone residents over the past week as traffic has been diverted to the A20 at Hollingbourne and delays are likely to worsen at as traffic volume increases throughout the weekend (April 8-10) during the Easter Getaway.
“We warn that as P&O Ferries has canceled services, DFDS at full capacity and possible severe weather conditions forecast, the disruption to weekend traffic is likely to worsen as the number of people increases. using cross channel services from Dover and Folkestone.
“Many have been queuing for hours for the past few days with traffic management being put in place for cross-Channel freight traffic having to join the queue on the M20. Unfortunately the current situation on the motorway has a major impact on local traffic, businesses and residents around the Maidstone area with local diversions in place.
“People are asked to avoid using the A20 and M20 if possible, but if they have to travel, please allow extra time for their journey. Arrangements are also in place to screen heavy goods vehicles carrying out local deliveries.
MBC chief executive Alison Broom added: “We realize this has been a very difficult time for our residents and that the issues on the M20 have impacted our communities, but we ask them not to make any journeys unless absolutely necessary this weekend.
Please consider if you really need to make this trip as if you weren’t, you’ll avoid what could be potentially lengthy delays and help keep our roads clear for essential traffic including services emergency.
All agencies are working hard to ensure that freight and passenger journeys are completed as soon as possible and that temporary traffic management arrangements are removed as soon as possible.