Earlier this month, plans for a truck park the size of Disneyland on the M20 were criticised by a House of Commons Select Committee which said it felt the government needed to justify the cost of the build.
Like the committee, BIFA said it also believes the government has not clearly demonstrated what options have been evaluated, and considers the decision to proceed with a lorry park project in Kent had ignored some of the usual best practice when planning the expenditure of such large sums of money.
“Our members’ cross-Channel trailer services are seriously impacted when there is disruption in the Channel ports and Operation Stack comes into action,” said BIFA director general, Robert Keen. “They are keen for the government to seek a solution to the disruption caused by Operation Stack, but query whether a lorry park is the best approach, given the cost and scale involved.
“It seems a little odd such a significant amount of money might be spent on a lorry park that might never get used and might not even solve the wider problems,” he added.
Keen said the problem could not be fixed with a single solution, and a range of options should be considered. These, he said, include consideration of the use of the M26 to queue rather than park traffic, upgrading of the A2 so there would be two major routes to the port, as well as using smart technology.
“With an announcement expected on the way forward in summer 2016, BIFA members still feel the government has more work to do to persuade us of the business case for this investment,” he concluded.