Thursday, 28 July 2016
Monday, 25 July 2016
FREIGHT GROUP QUESTIONS OPERATION STACK ALTERNATIVE
The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has added its voice to growing criticism of government plans to build a huge lorry park in Kent as an alternative solution to Operation Stack - the emergency procedure whereby freight lorries separate into two emergency queues on either side of the carriageway when the are problems with cross channel freight services.
Earlier this month, plans for a lorry park the size of Disneyland on the M20 were criticised by a House of Commons Select Committee that believes the government needs to justify the cost of the build.
Like the committee, BIFA also believes that the government has not clearly demonstrated what options have been evaluated and considers that 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.
BIFA Director General, Robert Keen, says: "Our members' cross-channel trailer services are seriously impacted when there is disruption in the channel ports and Operation Stack comes into action. 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 that 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.
"BIFA has always said there is not one single fix and a range of options should be considered, including consideration of the use of the M26 to queue rather than park traffic, upgrading of the A2 so that we've got 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 that the government has more work to do to persuade us of the business case for this investment."
Saturday, 23 July 2016
Thursday, 21 July 2016
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Saturday, 16 July 2016
Sunday, 10 July 2016
Moreover, would Susan Priest be affected by the Lorry Park or Bonkersville? - We don't think so. She doesn't even live in Shepway.
Dr Susan Priest, (below) a product of St Catherine's College Cambridge, and also Shepway District Council's, Corporate Director for Strategic Operations, who earns between £105,000 and £108,000 per year according to the accounts, is a busy lady. She has been attending quite a few conferences/symposiums etc regarding Garden Villages/Towns in 2015.
Susan is the lead director on the Garden Village/Town project known as Otterpool Park. Susan is the Corporate Director responsible for negotiations (which are ongoing) with the Reuben Brothers owners of Folkestone Race Course via Arena Racing Corporation, which in turn is held offshore in the British Virgin Islands
Three months prior to the Election in 2015, Policy Exchange, a neoconservative orientated think-tank with close ties to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, put this document into the public arena.
Anyway, on Wednesday 8th July 2015 Policy Exchange held a Symposium at the Grange Wellington Hotel London and Dr Susan Priest attends in the line of duty. The cost of this attendance to the Symposium in London was £354 (including VAT)
The Symposium is all about Increasing the Number of Available Homes
Two months later - the 15th September to be exact, Dr Susan Priest turns up at TCPA Conference: New Towns - past, present, future; which explored key delivery issues such as site designation, finance and governance, this conference will mark the publication of the final report of the TCPA's Study into lessons from the UK's New Towns and Garden Cities, and will provide an opportunity for learning and debate about the future delivery of large scale development in Britain. Recently
In 2016, Susan then has quite a few meetings about the Garden Village, one of these is with the Landowners, who was at this meeting is not known,
Dr Priest like Alistair Stewart is in the habit of collecting clubcard points, we can't say if she collect Nectar points as these have been photocopied of the pages concerned. She also collects Shell Petrol Loyalty Card points at our expense too.
Anyway here are Dr. Susan Priest expenses 2015-16 so you can see for yourself, what she has been up to.
Dr Susan Priest has in the past received a £170,000 payoff to to ease her departure from The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). Her annual Salary in this position was £135,000
It is not known if Dr Susan Priest received any payment to ease her departure when she stepped down from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership to take up her Corporate Directorship with Shepway District Council. If you discover she did, please let us know, by emailing us at email@example.com
Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Campaigners threaten legal action as transport secretary confirms Operation Stack lorry park to be built in Stanford
10:43 06 July 2016
Stanford residents and councillors, CPRE, FTA, KCC and Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins have all reacted to the news
Campaigners say they are threatening to take legal action after the transport secretary confirmed a major new lorry area will be created near Stanford as a long-term solution to the problems caused on the M20 and surrounding roads when Operation Stack is used.
The Stanford West site will be designed to hold around 3,600 lorries. Construction work will start as soon as possible with spaces available from summer 2017.
The aim is to help keep the M20 moving during disruption to cross-Channel services following the chaos caused last year.
However, it will spark fury among locals who opposed the plans.
Patrick McLoughlin said: "Operation Stack is only ever used as a last resort but we recognise the impact it has on roads in Kent, and are determined to deliver an alternative solution.
"The new lorry area by the M20 will deliver better journeys for drivers and will not only support the region's economy but also businesses as far away as Scotland that rely on the M20 to access the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel.
"We have committed up to £250m for the lorry area and we are now making it a reality."
The government is exploring using the site for overnight parking of lorries, relieving pressure caused by some drivers parking in unsuitable or illegal locations.
The lorry area will provide parking for up to 3,600 lorries. A Highways England consultation showed strong support for a permanent lorry area to reduce or remove the need to close the M20.
Nearly twice as many people thought it should be located at Stanford West than those who thought it should be built at an alternative site to the north of junction 11, because, among other reasons, it would have been close to an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The proposed site is west of the M20 junction 11 at Stanford West. Balfour Beatty has already been appointed as the lead contractor for the project.
New entry and exit slip roads will be built on the eastbound carriageway, providing direct access to the lorry park.
Jim O'Sullivan, Highways England chief executive said: "The secretary of state has asked us to progress a lorry area between Sellindge and Stanford. Direct access from the M20 means less lorries using local roads.
"We will work closely with residents and local stakeholders to ensure the design of the new lorry area minimises its social and environmental impact, while meeting the wider need to address this issue for Kent and the UK."
More than 1,000 drivers, residents and workers attended eight public events during the consultation on the lorry park and nearly 1,300 people provided written responses to the proposals.
The majority of people supported the idea of creating a new lorry area, with less than a quarter thinking Operation Stack should continue in its current form.
The next stage of the project will involve consulting on the details and the environmental impact of the scheme. That consultation will open shortly.
However, the proposals were criticised not just locally but by shipping form Motis and the British International Freight Association (BIFA), and perhaps most pertinently, by a House of Commons transport select committee.
A report published last month found that the decision to proceed was rushed in reaction to the events of the summer of 2015 when Stack was used longer than ever before.
The committee called on transport ministers to demonstrate the necessity of building the lorry park, including the cost-benefit ratios of alternative solutions and whether the park is proportionate and appropriate to the scale and frequency of disruption.
It also stressed the need to factor in environmental and social costs on the locality, economic benefits and the long-terms costs of operating, maintaining, renewing and, eventually, decommissioning the lorry park.
Matthew Webb, the chairman of Stanford Parish Council is furious and is planning legal action to overturn the decision.
He told us: "It is no real surprise. We are very disappointed - we have been opposing this from the start and will continue to do so.
"We are disappointed the government and secretary of state has not done anything to address concerns raised by the transport select committee in their report saying they don't believe the case has been made for a lorry park.
"So we will continue to campaign to oppose it. We must try and we know it will be difficult. We have taken legal counsel and will try to oppose it in other ways."
Alternative solutions mooted by those in opposition included several smaller lorry parks, use of the M26 motorway for queuing lorries and even the Brands Hatch race track in the north of the county, though that idea was emphatically quashed by bosses.
Debbie Burton of the campaign group SOS (Smarter Options than Stanford) Kent added: "I'm shellshocked, but as far as I'm concerned the fight is not over.
"We will get together soon to see what the next steps we can take will be.
"I thought they had to respond to the select committee but from what I have seen and heard, they haven't.
"Does this make a mockery of the select committee? I don't know."
Hilary Newport, director of CPRE Kent, also reacted angrily to the news, having frequently travelled to Westminster in recent months as part of campaigning against the lorry park.
She told us: "I'm very surprised it's happened so quickly, I didn't think anything would happen before we got a new prime minister.
"It's the wrong solution to the wrong problem - the Port of Dover are demanding money spent on maximising their availability through the M2/A2 corridor.
"And if their ambitions go ahead, this lorry park is in the wrong place, as is the proposed Thames crossing east of Gravesend.
"It's the worst of all possible outcomes and they've made me very cross - it's a complete failure of integrated transport planning."
Ms Newport was also full of praise for campaigners like Ms Burton and Cllr Webb.
"There is a lot of local opposition and they have been incredibly sensible and have acknowledged that it's a problem," she said.
"They've already got Stop24 in their backyard, so it's not fair and completely disingenuous to say they are NIMBYs.
"The vast majority of implementations of Stack last 10-15 hours and we usually have 200 lorries arriving in that queue.
"A lorry park that would cater for about 80 per cent of instances would be a fraction of the size of this - Stop24 and other areas could be expanded quite easily.
"Last year was dreadful but it was unique and we have so much in place now to stop it ever happening again.
"It's just a knee-jerk reaction that it is leading to the destruction of huge swathes of open space.
"It will be such a blot on the landscape - the motorway and railway integrates into it quite well, but this will be impossible to shield."
The announcement was supported by Kent County Council, however, with cabinet member for environment and transport, Matthew Balfour, saying: "I'm pleased the government has agreed to a site and is moving quickly with constructing this permanent lorry holding area.
"For years we have argued that a solution to the problem of Operation Stack – blighting not only Kent's residents and businesses but much of the UK – needs to be considered, and this is a culmination of that work.
"Last year's Stack had an estimated cost to the Kent and Medway economy of around £1.45m a day and across the country it was estimated to be about £250m a day.
"We will continue to support the government and Highways England in ensuring the lorry area is operational as soon as possible.
"We fully intend to support property owners in Stanford during this process.
"Alongside appropriate environmental mitigation measures, we believe residents should be quickly and fully compensated for the loss of property value and inability to sell if they need or want to move."
The Tunbridge Wells-based Freight Transport Association also felt the park was the most practical solution to ending misery on the roads of the county.
Head of policy for London and the south east, Natalie Chapman, said: "FTA has been pressing for a permanent solution to the problems caused by Operation Stack so we're delighted that the new lorry area could be ready by next summer.
"This will end the misery for thousands of residents and businesses whose lives have been repeatedly disrupted by Operation Stack on the M20, especially last summer when it was implemented 32 times.
"However, the design of the lorry site is crucial to ensure that trucks can be quickly moved to the port and Eurotunnel as soon as capacity is available.
"Of course, we would rather avoid Operation Stack altogether and keep the wheels of industry turning, so it is important that the lorry park doesn't become out of sight, out of mind - we still need to tackle the causes.
"It would be a bonus if the site could accommodate overnight lorry parking as this is also a serious problem in the county.
"However, this must not be at the cost of the smooth-running of the site for Operation Stack."
Despite some local opposition, Shepway District Council was also supportive, with Conservative leader David Monk insisting the importance of keeping the M20 open in both directions when lorries cannot cross the Channel, and ensuring local roads are not used either for diversions or parking to minimise impact on residents.
He said: "We welcome today's announcement by the secretary of state that Highways England will be providing a lorry storage area at Stanford West as a step towards dealing with the misery of Operation Stack.
"We will now consider the details of the announcement and make sure that it meets these criteria but we are really pleased that the government have listened to us about the need to provide a solution that works for the people and businesses of Shepway."
Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe added: "I have always been clear that Kent should never again have to suffer from the kind of scenes witnessed last summer, which caused misery to people's lives and cost Kent businesses millions of pounds in lost revenue.
"The plan to build a lorry park to hold around 3,600 lorries is the best way to achieve this.
"I firmly believe that this announcement is a step forward for the constituency and the rest of the county."
Police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott was supportive of the proposals prior to his election, as reported by Kent News, and has also welcomed today's news.
"Operation Stack is a coordinated multi-agency response implemented when there is disruption to cross-Channel traffic," he said.
"It is only ever used as a last resort but when that does happen, it brings significant disruption to Kent's roads and is a huge inconvenience to local people.
"Thanks to the hard work of local MPs, last year Operation Stack was identified as a national issue, not just a local one for us here in Kent.
"Any measure which can help prevent Operation Stack or reduce the impact of any disruption in future is to be welcomed which is why I'm pleased that a decision has been made on where a relief lorry park should go and that construction on the project will be able to proceed."
Mr Scott and his office will also continue to discuss with government any options for Kent Police receiving additional funding for its role in implementing Operation Stack.
He added: "We also need to continue to look at any other options which could direct lorries away from Kent's busy roads.
Sunday, 3 July 2016
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