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Cars Diggers get to work on enormous Kent lorry park

20:40  25 september  2020
20:40  25 september  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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a person doing a trick on a dirt track: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Work today continued on a 27-acre lorry park which will be able to hold up to 2,000 trucks in case of mass hold-ups at Dover when the Brexit transition period comes to an end.

The development, next to Junction 10a in Ashford, Kent, is being constructed by the Government as it prepares for the negotiation period with the EU to close in December.

Upon completion, the vast site will be used for HMRC customs checks, with an area available as a holding space for up to 2,000 trucks should delays arise for vehicles crossing the Channel.

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However, it is hoped vehicles will not need to be stored on the land and it will be 'purely a customs checking site' by July.

Work today continued on a 27-acre lorry park near Ashford, Kent which will be able to hold up to 2,000 trucks when the Brexit transition period comes to an end © Provided by Daily Mail Work today continued on a 27-acre lorry park near Ashford, Kent which will be able to hold up to 2,000 trucks when the Brexit transition period comes to an end a truck driving down a dirt road: The development, next to Junction 10a in Ashford, Kent, is being constructed by the Government as it prepares for the negotiation period to come to an end in December © Provided by Daily Mail The development, next to Junction 10a in Ashford, Kent, is being constructed by the Government as it prepares for the negotiation period to come to an end in December

There are fears the UK could leave the EU without a free trade deal following the Brexit transition period, which could cause significant delays in vehicles crossing the border, Kent Live reported.

It was previously claimed failure to strike a Brexit deal by next month could mean up to 7,000 lorries would be forced to queue up ahead of crossing the Channel.

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Photographs today captured the ongoing development of the site, with vehicles seen digging up the ground to make way for construction.

Queues of lorries were pictured on the M20 nearby as they waited to enter the Eurotunnel to Coquelles, France in Folkstone.

Construction on the site was halted last month after what was believed to be a Saxon wall was uncovered by workers, Kent Online reported.

The relic, which the Department for Transport later confirmed was not Saxon, caused work to be paused in an area close to the A2070 dual carriageway.

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Work had continued elsewhere on the site, with orange fencing erected around the site still in place today.

It emerged in July that the Department for Transport was looking to purchase the land in preparation for any potential trade disruptions as a result of Brexit.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean later confirmed the move, adding there were 'two primary uses' for the land.

a large long train on a track near a fence: Construction on the site was halted last month after what was believed to be a Saxon wall was uncovered by workers. Pictured: Lorries on the M20 today © Provided by Daily Mail Construction on the site was halted last month after what was believed to be a Saxon wall was uncovered by workers. Pictured: Lorries on the M20 today a highway with a mountain in the background: It emerged in July that the Department for Transport was looking to purchase the land in preparation for any potential trade disruptions as a result of Brexit © Provided by Daily Mail It emerged in July that the Department for Transport was looking to purchase the land in preparation for any potential trade disruptions as a result of Brexit

She said: 'First, government departments envisage using it as a permanent site for facilities related to future border processes, notably HMRC (as an office of departure/arrival for goods moved under 'transit' arrangements) and Defra (as a border control post for goods needing sanitary and phytosanitary checks).

'Second, the site may also be used as a contingency lorry holding area for the particular, foreseeable risk of significant disruption at the end of the transition period.'

Ms Maclean added Downing Street had 'no intention' the site would become a permanent lorry holding facility for use in the event of 'cross-Channel disruption'.

It is believed HMRC will use the land to check lorries until 2025.

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