Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past week, you all would have heard about the Manston Lorry Park dry run, experiment, call it what you will, debacle. Apparently, Government requested 150 lorries to run from Manston Airport to Dover but only 89 turned up. It must have been an exceptional money making day, work-wise for the industry because the 61 truckers that stayed away (obviously making more money) were missing out on £550 for simply driving about on relatively uncongested local roads. Why were the roads empty? It was so well advertised that other drivers stayed well away, fearing that traffic jams would surely ensue. As it happens, the roads were relatively empty.

Hailed as a complete farce by ‘thinking’ people and the majority of politicians (yes – politicians) for various reason which we will come onto in a moment, but there was one local minor politician that endorsed the views of certain individuals that described the day as a great success. We know it’s difficult to believe, or is it?

Here she be:

Carey in White hat
Susan Carey. Conservative Councillor

Yes, our beloved Susan; supporter of the 3,600 vehicle Stanford West Lorry park that would have decimated the lives of hundreds of villagers. Did we mention that dear Susan is up for election in May in the North Downs West ward (that includes Stanford). Moving on:

Manston is a completely unsuitable location as the road network in that part of Kent is not geared up to accommodating hundreds of HGVs, yet the Government is spending £12,000 each day to keep it available when it should be investing in multiple parking facilities together with ‘smart’ signage across the whole of the UK motorway network.

Taxpayers money is being squandered by inept and frankly moronic Government officials who are clueless about the logistics involved here. We need secure lorry parks, not more sticking plasters and punitive measures: it’s not rocket science; look across to France with their parking facilities, on-site restaurants and service areas. Moreover, the opening of more ports would ease congestion at Dover and the Channel Tunnel. Why hasn’t it been instigated?

So why was Tuesdays ‘dry run’ a farce? Each day almost 6000 lorries head towards Dover to cross the channel. In the summer of 2015, 9000 lorries were stacked on the M20; a far superior route to the roads to and from Manston. We have already calculated that a single lorry park would make the road network around Stanford et environs even more congested if this crazy scheme had come to fruition. For example, junction 11 would be closed due to the 2km rule of having two slip roads within the motorway route. We also calculated that even if Highways England could fill the biggest lorry park in the world at Stanford, there would still be 5,400 lorries stacked on the M20.


Our very own MP Damian Collins is still banging on about building a single lorry park. Mr. Collins. Are you completely stupid?

collins open shirt
Damian Collins MP.

Let’s not forget that the idea of a lorry park was pre-referendum and was only meant to be a lorry holding area for when operation stack was called due to inclement weather, striking ferrymen and migrant incursion. It was never meant to be a customs area or anything related to Brexit. Our Government has had two and a half years to put in place lorry parks throughout the UK. Instead they have already wasted £15,000,000 on consultants fees at Stanford, £12,000 per day to keep Manston open and a one off payment of £48.950.00 to send a few lorries along a few local roads, which included two removal lorries and a dust cart.

Any ideas what we could use those three vehicles for?

To end a much lighter note, Monsieur Jean-Marc Puissesseau, Port of Calais Chief has stated that incoming lorries will not be impeded entering France after 29th March 2019.

There, it took a French man to cut to the chase and shame our spineless political class.

Keep on truckin.



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