Operation Stack – Part 1

For those of you living in Kent, you will have noticed that travel becomes hazardous when these parts become icey and it snows.

The M25 has been so slippery that lorries and even smaller Ford transit vans have been sliding backwards down the hills into oncoming traffic. These dangerous actions due to severe weather conditions have caused cars to veer across the lanes without notice and larger vehicles to jack-knife across main motorways and busy junctions. Town or city streets that are generally littered with pedestrians and open shops make way for closed shops and a few brave people who are brave enough to put on their winter warmers.

While we are worrying about getting to or from work, most of us are unaware of the import implications on our economy due to the severity of the weather. With commercial aeroplanes grounded due to the closure of runways, new ford cars and transporter lorries generally stuck on motorways for hours and train lines come to halt, we do not stop and think about the lorry loads of goods, supplies and imports we rely on daily that come through our ports, and in particular through our only link to Europe- the Port of Dover and Folkestone.

Kent Police and the Port of Dover use the term 'Operation Stack' when weather is so severe that the lorries can not proceed through the towns into Kent. Once the lorry loads have crossed the borders (if weather is too severe) the 'stacking' of lorries side by side on the motorways in surrounding areas begins because the journey ahead is both too dangerous and unpassable for the drivers to continue on.