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Image caption, Barrier relocation works will include a 13 mile long drainage upgrade

A traffic-holding system for lorries planning to cross the English Channel will be lifted after the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) said the move would allow it to resume work relocating a contraflow barrier.

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The traffic scheme was introduced in March to manage freight flow after P&O Ferries services were suspended.

KRF strategic lead Simon Jones said it promised to keep it under review and it was now safe to remove it.

The measures, known as Operation Brock, queue lorries heading to Dover on one side of the M20, while a contraflow system runs on the remaining carriageway.

Mr Jones said: “KRF partners promised our residents, businesses and hauliers we would… remove it as soon as it was practical to do so.

“With the half-term and Jubilee holidays now coming to an end we are able to safely deliver on our pledge.”

Work will now resume to move the contraflow between Junctions 8 (Maidstone) and 9 (Ashford), from the hard shoulder to the central reservation.

Mr Jones said cross-Channel traffic levels had returned to pre-pandemic levels and traffic management was the “best available option” to keep Kent moving.

The barrier relocation works, which include a 13-mile long drainage upgrade for the central reservation and new signage, will continue at least until early 2023, KRF said.

During this time, a 50mph speed limit will stay in place on both carriageways.

Nicola Bell, Highways England regional director, said: “Storing the moveable barrier on the M20 London-bound hard shoulder was only a temporary measure.

“Moving the structure to the central reservation will allow the hard shoulder between Ashford and Maidstone to be reinstated to its original width.”

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