Yesterday saw the initiation and completion of Operation Brock, with a convoy of lorries participating in a series of test runs along the A256 towards Dover.
The trial was designed to test whether in a No-deal Brexit scenario the disused Manston Airport could be used as a holding bay for some 4,000 trucks. The Department of Transport described the test runs as a success.
There was some scepticism based on the low numbers of HGVs which participated in the trial. Originally, the plan was for up to 150 lorries to participate, with drivers paid £550 for the exercise. However, yesterday saw just 89 vehicles take part.
Chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has said that the trial “cannot possibly duplicate” scenes after Brexit, when the 12,000 lorries which pass through Dover each day will need to be managed and directed.
Meanwhile, the UK Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, has said today that the UK remains committed to leaving Europe on 29 March as originally scheduled, despite some Minister’s suggestions of extending Article 50 to allow more time for the UK to withdraw from the EU.