M20 is now the nation's slowest motorway

The M20 has become the slowest motorway in the UK and residents across Kent are furious.

Steel barriers were put up between Junctions 8 and 9 London-bound, so traffic can flow in both directions when there are delays at the Channel ports. But it means another large section of the M20 has a reduced speed limit.

Junction 10 currently has a 50mph limit because of roadworks to complete the new Junction 10A, while Junctions 3 to 5 has one during upgrades to become a "smart motorway". Both projects are due to be completed in 2020.

In recent days a decision had been made to "deactivate" Operation Brock by returning the 70mph limit on the three coastbound lanes. But the steel barriers on the London-bound side, including the 50mph limit, will remain in place.

Residents are furious. Operation Brock is not a solution. It means yet another section of our motorway has a reduced speed limit. The M20 now has to be the slowest motorway in the country. The most frustrating part is there are solutions and they are simple. We need long-term investment – in things like lorry parks and a dualled A2. This had been needed for years. If we just got on with it, we wouldn't need these bizarre, go-slow traffic schemes.

In recent weeks I arranged for a joint letter from all east Kent MPs and council leaders to ministers at the Department for Transport. It urged them to release funding for a feasibility study to dual the A2 to the Port of Dover, and for the scheme to be included in the next Road Investment Strategy. I am due to have talks with roads minister in the coming weeks.