Quiet Kent village rammed with HGVs in Brexit lorry park botch-up | UK | News


Residents living in Mersham near Ashford, Kent are furious their narrow country lanes are blocked by huge lorries that have been given the wrong directions. Pictures posted on Facebook show trucks wedged in precarious positions as they try to manoeuvre their way through the winding streets.

Video footage taken by residents show lorries meeting head-on and having to try and negotiate tight corners. One clip featured a row of three lorries stuck down a narrow road.

Council bosses say the confused truckers – who are being sent to the Heavy Goods Vehicle facility from the Eurotunnel terminal near Folkestone 20 miles away – are losing their way due to inaccurate directions.

The Brexit lorry park does not have a dedicated postcode, so drivers were being directed to Mersham by Sat Nav.

READ MORE:EU warning: Crisis looms as bloc set to lose £675billion

Even the government’s own website gave the wrong address for the Inland Border Facility (IBF), which is just a mile away from Mersham.

The IBF opened in February to cope with surging demand for checks on hauliers crossing to France after Brexit.

Within days of the 66-acre park opening, around 30 lorries arrived and were getting stuck throughout the village and tearing up turf as they tried to manoeuvre out.

To try and combat the problem, more signs were put up on the M20 and Kent County Council created a 24/7 monitoring system outside the village where officers were stationed in a car at the A20 entrance to Mersham to redirect any stray lorries.

Now, the council confirmed that the monitoring system has ended and lorries are blocking the country lanes again.

Village resident, Sharon Swandale, got so annoyed with the problem that she has come up with a partial solution involving the What3Words location app, which assigns three unique words to each small square covering the whole world.

She said: “Considering the government gave out two postcodes, neither of which are unique to the IBF, I have updated as many haulier sites as possible with the What3Words location.”

The What3Words code for the spot is escape.transit.matter.

A spokesman for the authority said: “We understand residents’ frustrations and we are working closely with the parish and local county councillor to deal with the issue.

“We no longer have a 24/7 officer on site but have added more signs directing HGVs to where they should be going.

“Highways England is due to install permanent signing on the M20 and the Department for Transport is ensuring the postcode for the site is available on Google and Sat Navs.”

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