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Stacking up problems for the future?

12th December 2013
Page 9
Page 9, 12th December 2013 — Stacking up problems for the future?
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The idea of having one vast lorry park capable of holding thousands of LGVs was partly down to Operation Stack. The police-led, emergency parking procedure has needed a long-term solution for many years and it was thought that a permanent lorry park was the answer. But Kent residents disagreed and the council was forced back to square one. However, fortunately for the local authority, instances of Operation Stack being implemented have fallen dramatically in recent years, meaning that it is no longer seen as such an issue and has fallen off most people's radars.

According to Peter Cullum, manager of international affairs at the Road Haulage Association, Operation Stack was invoked 17 times in 2005, then an average of five times over the next few years, and has hardly been relied on in the past year or so.

"We developed a range of measures that could keep the flow [of LGV traffic] more effective," says Cullum. "Better communications, keeping our members away from the area and increased buffering capacity at Dover and the Eurotunnel. It's also been helped by us having reasonably good weather." But this doesn't necessarily mean the problem has been solved. Natalie Chapman at the FTA says: "The problem with Operation Stack is it becomes an issue when it's used. You can go

for a couple of years without it being used, then you get bad weather, or strikes in France, and it's implemented a few times. Then it's no surprise that it becomes more of a problem, politically."

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