Operation Stack

  Large Areas of Kent Paralysed

Lorries are being parked on large sections of the M20 in a queue that, at times, has stretched from  Folkestone to Maidstone. It is taking as long as 18 hours to get to the Channel Tunnel terminus or the Ferry Port of Dover. Lorry drivers are furious at the slow response of authorities as the traffic jams hold the area in gridlock. The A20, which is taking all non continental lorries and smaller vehicles, is almost at a standstill on occasions and many other road uses have been trapped at home for most of July. 


Operation Stack - The scene on the M20 near Aldington
Operation Stack – The scene on the M20 near Aldington

The emergency parking was introduced when strikers at the Port of Calais paralysed the Ferry service. Then, up to 5,000 refugees from Syria and Africa joined other non European groups who have been trying to get to England by breaking into lorries and hiding away amongst the cargo on the cross channel ferry trip or through the Channel Tunnel. When the lorries were backed up for miles on the roads into Calais there were many more opportunities to board a lorry and when the strikers disrupted the Channel Tunnel by setting fire to tyres in the entrance, the problem was exacerbated. By now more and more emigrants from the Mediterranean were arriving and determined mass charges on the tunnel terminus were made, resulting in two deaths. Many immigrants were successful in reaching England this way, it was reported by journalists that 450 had crossed via the Tunnel route on one night alone.

Police have been removing individuals from lorries on the M20, some instances actually being filmed by television crews. These people are taken away for processing and will be allowed to stay in Britain if they are deemed eligible for ‘political asylum’  (a person who, from fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, social group, or political opinion, has crossed an international frontier into a country in which he or she hopes to be granted refugee status).

“Rye’s Own Bulletin” July 30th. 2015

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