Just when you thought we might be entering a quieter period for the summer Operation Brock on the M20 comes back into our lives. As I write this we are back to two lanes between Junctions 8 and 9, with a 50mph speed limit.
The decision was taken by the Kent Resilience Forum in anticipation of a big rise in traffic at Dover and the Tunnel because of the school holidays. Just in case this led to queues back up the motorway, they took the precaution of bringing Brock back over the weekend.
I was dubious at this use of Brock in a purely precautionary way in the first place. There is always the possibility of disruption in travel across the Channel, in the winter because of bad weather and at all times because of a mixture of French strikes and other random disruptions. If Brock is used on all these occasions it will be on more often than not.
Those doubts were only reinforced when the Government changed the rules on travel to France, making it clear that even those who are fully vaccinated will be required to quarantine when they return. I am sure this will significantly reduce the numbers who want to drive across the Channel for a holiday, so the usual summer rush will just not happen.
Therefore I hope that by the time you read this Brock has been stood down, or at least is about to be stood down. Even on Sunday there were queues on the coastbound section coming towards Junction 9, which are especially annoying when they are unnecessary.
We always have to remember that Brock is infinitely better than the old Operation Stack, which drove all traffic onto our local roads and was a much more miserable experience. But that is no reason to use it when it is not needed.