Op Stack In Force

13 March 2019, 12:47

Op Stack

Operation Stack has been put in place on the coastbound carriageway of the M20 because of strong winds affecting Channel crossings at the Port of Dover.

Operation Stack, also known as Op Stack, is a way of managing traffic during disruption to Eurotunnel or ferry services in Kent.

Lorries waiting to use these services queue on the M20 and all other traffic is diverted to other routes.

Op Stack is used between junction 8 (Maidstone services) and junction 9 (Ashford) on the M20. If more space is needed, the closed section will extend to junction 11 (Westenhanger).

Freight is separated into 2 queues on either side of the coastbound carriageway, 1 for tunnel traffic and 1 for port traffic. The middle lanes are kept clear for emergency vehicles.

Lorries are released at the request of the Port of Dover and Channel Tunnel. As we move them down the queue in stages you may see stretches of the motorway clear from time to time.

If junction 8 to junction 11 reaches capacity, Highways England will use Manston airfield to park Port of Dover freight.

M20 slip road closures
As Op Stack is implemented there will be a significant queue of freight traffic which needs to be separated into the 2 queues. To safely manage this, partners may close the slip roads leading to the port and the tunnel for a period of time.