Monday morning and what do I find in my inbox? Yet another proposal to concrete over a large area of Kent countryside in the name of progress. This time it is the Highways Agency who are proposing creating a massive lorry park off of the M20.
I, along with millions of others, was affected by Operation Stack last year. This, for those who don’t live in Kent, is when the channel tunnel is not working due to industrial action or bad weather or migrants attempting to reach England through it and lorries are parked on the M20 until it opens again. It is a pain to be sure and last summer the area did rather grind to a halt. But until last year Operation Stack really didn’t seem too much of a problem.
So it seems a bit of an overreaction to create a massive lorry park to deal with an occasional problem but, as you read further into the consultation document you begin to realise that what is actually being proposed is some permanent overnight lorry parking facility which would net the government thousands in fees.
While the powers that be wander off with the cash us in Kent are left with increased pollution and flooding issues from the run off from this facility, increased traffic problems year round on local roads, not to mention the loss of woodland, downland, a scheduled ancient monument, Westhanger Abbey, and an ugly intrusion either into the villages of Sellindge and Stanford or the Kent Down AONB.
And of course this giant headline grabbing ego project does nothing to solve the real problems. Security at the channel tunnel and the increasing amounts of freight traffic on our roads. If only the government had the ability to think long term and deal with the real issues, but, no, this is too much to hope for, so I await once again the vision of David Cameron coming over the hill in his hunter wellies with his cement mixer in tow.
If this makes you as angry as it does me then you can attempt to get your voice heard here.