Original article from Kent Live
A large section of the M20 is to be closed over the weekend, as works to remove Operation Brock, a temporary barrier put in place as a Brexit precaution, begin.
The removal of the barrier, which will start on Saturday (April 24) and take two days, will see the motorway finally return to three full width lanes.
It will also see the restoration of the national speed limit, meaning drivers can once more drive at 70mph on the stretch.
The barrier has been in place on a 15-mile section of the M20 between junctions 8 and 9, to Maidstone and Ashford respectively since late December 2020.
This was in order to counteract the risk of potential traffic disruption during this period due to Brexit, and minimise freight disruption on local traffic.
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Works will begin on Saturday April 24 at 8pm, from junctions 7 to 9 coastbound, and between junctions 9 to 8 London-bound.
The works will continue until the next morning, ending at 8am on April 25, resuming at 8pm that evening.
Diversions have been put in place to ensure road users can still travel during the weekend, ensuring those travelling between Maidstone and Ashford can still make it to their destinations.
The removal should be complete by 6am on Monday, April 26, leaving the motorway open for commuter use by the beginning of the next working week
The diversion routes, mainly utilising the nearby A20, are as follows:
- Junction 9 to 8 Londonbound diversion route: Traffic will be diverted from junction 9 towards the A20 Maidstone, then re-join the M20 motorway at junction 8. Vehicles over 4.7m height need to follow a different route which is to turn around at junction 9 to re-join the M20 towards Dover, then the A20 heading for Dover, then follow the A2 towards Canterbury, then the M2 London, exiting the motorway at junction 7 onto the A249 towards Maidstone to re-join the M20 motorway at junction 7. Junction 8 can be accessed via the A20 for vehicles under 4.7m.
Junction 7 to 9 coastbound diversion route: Traffic will be diverted from junction 7, heading towards the A249 Canterbury, then follow the M2 Dover, then A2 Dover, then the A20 London which re-joins the M20.
Highways England has agreed with the Kent Resilience Forum and the Department for Transport it is the right time to deactivate the contraflow.
Nicola Bell, Highways England Regional Director said: "The last four months have not been without their challenges and I would like to pay testament to the hundreds of workers across the Kent Resilience Forum who have worked – and continue to work – around the clock to ensure that traffic continues to move smoothly through Kent."