No-deal Brexit rehearsal tests traffic congestion in Kent

Road haulage body dismisses trial involving 79 lorry drivers as ‘window dressing’

The Department for Transport is carrying out a live trial of an emergency traffic congestion system to be used in Dover in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with 79 lorry drivers participating.

The trucks started their journey north of the port, at the disused Manston airport near Ramsgate, at 7am on Monday and were due to make their way to Dover.

The challenge facing the government and Kent county council was evident at dawn as an argument broke out between marshals about where the trucks were supposed to go.

In the three-stage process, tests were due to be held again just after 8am at a second holding area on a closed off lane on the southbound carriageway of the A256.

The lorries took an hour to make the 33-mile journey from Manston to Dover, a trip that would normally take about half an hour.

The Road Haulage Association described the test as “window dressing”, saying it could not possibly mimic the reality of 6,000 trucks that would be held at Manston airport in the event of no deal.

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