During the period of the blockages anger was very apparent. People were emailing me, and I assume everyone else, saying things along the lines of “I don’t care how you do it just sort it out”. (I have removed the asterisks). Kent County Council then come up with a solution at Westernhanger, and the immediate response is equally negative.
So nobody likes the problem, and nobody likes any particular solution proposed, especially if it is one very large lorry park. The response to the Westernhanger proposal is much the same as the response to the previous idea of putting the lorry park at Sellindge. No one wants the prospect of thousands of lorries in their back yard, even if it only happens for a couple of days a year.
This is why, although I believe we should take the Westernhanger idea seriously, I think that the most likely long-term solution is a series of smaller parks around Kent, some on the M20 and some on the M2, so that lorries arriving in the county can be split up. Eurotunnel is already working on one of these, and there is the prospect of another in the re-designed Dover port.
There will be a series of meetings in the coming weeks to work through the various ideas, and see what is available both locally and nationally in terms of logistical and financial support. Let’s hope we can establish a consensus.