Up to a further 29 lorry parks, from Devon and Somerset to Warwickshire and Suffolk, will be built in order to cope with border trading chaos after Brexit, under emergency government powers, which will take no notice of local objections.
The move was revealed after the leak of a government document that described the current border preparation plans as “unmanageable”, with warnings of queues of 7,000 lorries in Kent, and two-day delays to cross into the EU.
Local residents will have no say over the construction of the sites in Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Solihull, Kent, Essex, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, which are required because of growing fears that truck drivers will face long delays to enter the EU, or be turned away altogether.
The regulation triggering the order to build the lorry parks acknowledges that attempts by ports to cope with the vast new red tape have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The government is aware that the impact of coronavirus may have affected the ability of port operators and businesses to provide the necessary infrastructure by the end of the year,” it reads.
Until now, the only new lorry park under construction is a 27-acre site being built in Kent to handle what has been condemned as “a vast customs bureaucracy, with costs passed on to the consumer”.
Ministers have already admitted there could be up to 10 months of border disruption, with emergency traffic control measures in Kent to last until “the end of October 2021”.
As many as 10,000 trucks a day pass through Dover and other ports, and about four-fifths of the food reaching UK supermarkets comes from the EU, according to the British Retail Consortium.
Metro’s ‘Brexit Ready’ web portal has been designed to prepare your business for the 1st January 2021