Cabinet minister Michael Gove said that it was not “the intention” for a 27-acre site secretly bought in Kent by the government to become a parking spot for trucks delayed at Dover and other ports following Brexit.
Work has already started on the massive parking spot for trucks delayed at Dover and other ports following Brexit, much to the horror of the people of Kent who will live with the enormous lorry park (one of four planned for the region) right on their doorstep.
Gove formerly insisted that tax payer cash set aside for easing traffic through Dover would “create a smart infrastructure that, in Kent and elsewhere, will allow the trade to flow”.
Work on the vast area of land situated on the outskirts of Ashford, in Kent, started today, with the local council given just hours notice that the land was now in public ownership.
The lorry park will be paid for with some of the £700m set aside for a new customs infrastructure which, the government insist, will be necessary even if the UK avoids crashing out of the transition period without a deal.
Political analyst Dave Halpin said, “even if Britain reaches an agreement (which it won’t) there is now nothing in place to prevent the free-flow of goods that currently takes place.”
“In order to avoid absolute chaos, the government are now unrolling this insane last-minute rush to establish a customs infrastructure, with £470m going on border control posts and £235m on computer systems and extra staff, including 500 new ‘Border Force’ personnel.”
“Should we be worried? Yes. We should be very worried. Not only does this government have a proven track record of overspending on even the most basic projects – meaning £700m is unlikely to scrape the surface once all the usual FUBARs stack up – but it is also routinely incompetent.”
“The IT system required to handle all this is a massive undertaking and so far doesn’t exist. Given what we know about the ‘world beating’ track and trace app, what chance do you think we have of seeing a working IT system of this scale up and running in the next five months?”
The lorry park, which has not received the approval of the people of Kent and has been rushed through the planning consent process in order to address the looming spectre of a no-deal Brexit on January 1st, will act as a waystation for thousands of lorries as they wait for paperwork to be processed before crossing the Channel and travelling into the European Union.
There are now widespread fears that traffic will clog the roads in and around the new lorry park site and that this will trigger massive congestion and huge tailbacks on the county’s motorways.