Following the disruption to borders at the end of December, roadside waste which was left behind by queuing traffic resulted in 1,400 bags of waste collected on the M20.
At the end of December France blocked arrivals of UK passengers for 48 hours over concerns about the new coronavirus variant.
Freight lorries were unable to cross by sea or through the Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover was closed to outbound traffic.
Around 10,000 lorries a day travel between Dover and Calais during peak periods such as Christmas and the block caused serious disruption – not just for for the lorries, but also because of the litter that was left behind by the queuing traffic, which resulted in a clean-up operation.
Nicky Potts, Highways England head of operational integration, said: ‘Since Boxing day and over the last few days, we have collected over 1,400 bags of waste along the M20 between junctions 8 and 9 as well as a large lorry load from between junctions 10a and 13.
Since Boxing day and over the last few days, we have collected over 1,400 bags of waste along the M20 between junctions 8 and 9 as well as a large lorry load from between junctions 10a and 13
‘We have more litter clearance work planned over the next week which will include supporting our Dover District Council partners in cleaning up the A20 and A2.
‘We thank residents in the affected areas along the motorway for their patience while this work is carried out.’
Partner agencies, including Kent Police, Highways England, Kent County Council and the Department for Transport under the Kent Resilience Forum worked together to ensure roads were cleared and freight moved to the ports as quickly as possible.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix, who chairs the Kent Resilience Forum’s planned response to potential disruption in the county as a result of the end of the EU Transition period, said: ‘Whilst we have relatively low numbers of freight crossing the channel at present, the Kent Resilience Forum is working together to ensure the smooth running of freight through the county, and that any waste as a result of the disruption we saw last week is cleared as quickly as possible.’
Following the requirement for a negative Covid-19 test before heading to France, hauliers were required to ensure that they obtained a negative test result before heading to Kent, together with the correct documentation, including Kent Access Permits before arriving in the county in order they can cross the Channel.
Drivers who did not have the Kent Access Permit were subject to a £300 fine.