I suspect I have written more columns in this space about the M20 and its problems than any other single issue over the years. This one is slightly different, in that it relates to an important area right next to the motorway, which could have a significant effect on it.
I refer to the Sevington lorry park, or to give it its proper name, the Inland Border Facility. Since it is not currently used for its original purpose, we now by accident have what it has proved impossible to create over the past 15 years, namely a large expanse of lorry-friendly tarmac right next to the motorway.
This is why I have made the point to the Transport Secretary Mark Harper in recent days that there may an alternative to Operation Brock to hand. He has agreed to take away this suggestion and look at the practicalities of queuing lorries inside the Sevington facility, and also of course how you could them in there and out again in a non-disruptive way when you needed to control the flow across the Channel.
A similar idea has been put forward for a site in Dover which is designated for customs use but is now not needed. It is just possible that between these two sites we could find enough space to avoid most of the need for Brock, except if there were exceptionally long closures of both the Channel routes.
Experience has taught me not to be too optimistic about the prospect of ending difficulties on the M20. Although, to be fair, Brock is an improvement on the old Operation Stack, which had the capacity to cause chaos on roads throughout Kent. But I will continue to press the Department to think creatively about these issues, which are hugely important not only to businesses but to all of us who use the motorway regularly.