Written by MP for Dover and Deal, Kent

Have fun in the sun and stay safe too

Summer vacation is almost here, and for once Britain is basking in a heat wave. With more warm weather predicted for much of August, students and parents can cool off and relax after a busy school year. This summer vacation in particular is the first vacation out of the pandemic where many in our area are happy that we can finally fully enjoy our beautiful coastline in the sun.

The sun also comes with its risks. This week we expect heat waves across the country. Many of us will be looking forward to bathing in the sea, but we must be careful to take care of ourselves, young children and the elderly as well.

Kent County Council has launched a ‘Stay cool in Kent‘ information page on their website with advice on how to prevent health problems caused by heat. These include drinking plenty of water, staying in the shade when the sun is hottest, taking breaks if you’re away, and making sure you’re wearing sunscreen.

Also, people will be looking to cross the English Channel to go on holiday. Given the likely increases in traffic, with volumes set to increase with airport problems and railway strikes, it is essential that tourists pre-book their cross-Channel journeys. Operation Brock has already been set up before the summer holidays. I lobbied the Kent and Government traffic management teams on their traffic management plans this summer.

I stay in frequent contact with the Kent Resilience Forum and Transport Ministers to remind them of the need to keep Dover Clear. As I have said in Parliament, it is essential that there is a review of the current tacky plaster approach to national highways – which increasingly does not work for Dover, Kent or the UK as a whole together.

Earlier this year I held a five hour marathon session with the National Highways and Department for Transport project team planning the A2 upgrade and Whitfield roundabout improvements. The road has been identified as in need of upgrading for most of my adult life. It is now part of the road investment program, and especially with the summer holiday rush, it is a timely reminder of the importance of more resilient roads for our region.

With the summer holidays, it is an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to discover our territory. To admire the magnificent White Cliffs of Dover and enjoy our Deal heritage coastline. To hang out in our many excellent pubs, cafes and restaurants. To take the children to the beach or to the fields with a picnic. To go for a bike ride. To receive friends around the BBQ, or tea in the garden.

It’s a well-deserved vacation for everyone, a respite from the challenges of the past two years. I wish all families and students in Dover and Deal a very happy summer holiday.

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