I do not think that Manston is the right place for a lorry park. Lorry parks should be sited along the route to the port, not on a detour. They should be sited on the main motorways – that means along the M20 corridor, and even further up the country. This is why I have been working to bring forward a lorry park near Folkestone.
Moreover, the road infrastructure is not up to scratch for Manston to be used as a lorry park. The A256 and A2 are single track. I am concerned that the result could be gridlock in East Kent.
However assurances have been made that the use of Manston will only be if strictly necessary. I have also been assured that if it does not work and results in gridlock, the Manston lorry park will be abandoned. It's also only likely to be used to get traffic off the M20 so a form of contra flow can be created there. I have also been assured that when in use, it will be closely monitored to ensure that freight is phased in to prevent gridlock.
The plan to use Manston highlights again that the A2 should be dualled from the Lydden junction through to Whitfield. The A256 should be upgraded to a dual carriageway between just north of the Ash roundabout and the Eastry roundabout. I am working to get these much needed road upgrades back on the table.
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