Kent

Operation Stack finally lifted a week after Eurotunnel lorry fire

Queuing lorries on the M20 in Kent Image copyright PA
Image caption Motorists have faced long delays in Kent because of the ongoing Eurotunnel power problems

Traffic disruption has continued in Kent a week after after a lorry fire forced the closure of the Channel Tunnel.

Operation Stack has been in place on the M20 to allow lorries to queue while they waited to travel to France via the tunnel.

It was lifted on Saturday evening, making the motorway available for all traffic, Kent Police said.

Eurotunnel began operating a full commercial service again, on Friday.

'Babysitting' criticism

In a statement on Saturday evening, Kent Police said traffic management had been retained at Junction 8, coastbound, as a contingency to allow officers to reintroduce Operation Stack if an unexpected amount of freight traffic arrives in the area.

The problems began with the lorry fire on 17 January, close to the Calais end of the tunnel.

The tunnel reopened the following day but problems with the power supply caused delays throughout last week.

Eurotunnel said it would be running extra freight services over the weekend in an effort to reduce the number of waiting lorries on the M20.

On Friday, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes said police officers should be "doing their proper job" and not "babysitting" lorry drivers in Operation Stack.

Dover District Council said the government had ordered an urgent review to look at the resilience of the road network in the area and its ability to cope with periods of severe congestion at Eurotunnel and the Channel ports.

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