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Traffic Nightmares in Folkestone and Hawkinge Due to Bank Holidays

Main image to the post Traffic Nightmares in Folkestone and Hawkinge Due to Bank Holidays

Residents of Folkestone and Hawkinge have been expressing their frustrations over the traffic chaos that ensues each time a bank holiday approaches, leaving them feeling trapped inside their homes or having to plan their journeys well in advance. The primary cause of this situation is the gridlock that occurs on the M20 as lorries on their way to the Port of Dover create massive delays, worsened by increased security checks and inefficiencies at the port. This traffic nightmare not only disrupts daily activities but also has a domino effect on the entire region, affecting areas like Folkestone, Cheriton, and Hawkinge.

Laura Poulton, a resident of Folkestone, highlighted the widespread impact of the traffic issues, noting that simple tasks like a 10-minute trip to the supermarket could take up to an hour due to the gridlock caused by lorries and poor traffic management. The situation is further complicated by lorries attempting shortcuts, which exacerbate the problems faced by rural residents like those living near the Castle Hill Interchange. Chris Johnson, chairman of the Hawkinge District Council, emphasized the consistent nature of the problem, stating that the traffic congestion not only affects motorway rounds but also has repercussions on the villages, leading many residents, especially the elderly, to stay indoors rather than face the chaos on the roads.

The challenges presented by bank holiday traffic have prompted officials like Chris Johnson to address the issue with authorities and express concerns about the impact on the local community and upcoming holiday seasons. Efforts such as Operation Brock, which sees lorries queueing on one side of the M20 with a contraflow on the other, have been implemented to mitigate the traffic issues, but local residents continue to face disruptions and delays. The Kent and Medway Resilience Forum acknowledges the inconvenience caused by the traffic problems and highlights the need for longer-term solutions to address the ongoing issues on the routes through Kent to the Port of Dover, particularly in light of upcoming EU regulatory changes that are expected to further impact traffic flow and delays in the region.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09