Details of work to remove the steel barrier on the M20 in Kent, installed last year as part of Operation Brock (see Kent roads are Brexit-ready), have been confirmed by Highways England.
This means that three full width lanes at the national speed limit will be restored on the London-bound motorway at the end of the month.
The barrier has been in place on a 15-mile section of the M20 between junctions 8 (for Maidstone) and 9 (at Ashford) since March 2019, reflecting the risk of potential traffic disruption during this period. Now that the risk has lowered, Highways England has agreed with the Kent Resilience Forum and the Department for Transport (DfT) that the barrier can be taken down.
Highways England project director Nicky Potts said: “Removing the Operation Brock barrier is good news for drivers and the people of Kent and reflects the decreased risk of disruption to cross-channel services in the coming months. We are grateful for people’s patience while the barrier has been in place and are looking forward to restoring the motorway to full capacity.”
The work to remove the barrier will start with a full closure of the M20 in both directions on Monday 13 January between junctions 9 and 7 from 8pm until 6am on Tuesday 14 January.
From 8pm on Tuesday 14 January, the London-bound carriageway of the M20 will be closed between junctions 9 and 7 from 8pm until 6am every night for a further 15 nights.
Work is being carefully planned to limit any disruption, Highways England said, with all work being carried out overnight.
There will also be lane restrictions on short sections of the coastbound carriageway near junction 9 (for Ashford) and 8 (for Maidstone) while gaps in the central reservation that were used as crossover points during Operation Brock will be reinstated.
At these locations, lane 3 will be closed for safety reasons until the work to lift the barrier is finished, with a reduced 50mph speed limit in lanes 1 and 2.
The final overnight closure is planned for Tuesday 28 January, where the coastbound carriageway will be closed while the remaining restrictions are removed. All work is expected to be complete, with all restrictions removed, by Saturday 1 February at the latest.
See highwaysengland.co.uk for more details.
Last reviewed 13 January 2020