A20

Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to a lorry fire on the A20 near Dover

Crews wearing breathing apparatus used hose reel jets and compressed air foam to tackle the fire in both the cab and trailer of the lorry.

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The Technical Rescue team also attended the incident and used a telehandler to remove the load from the trailer to access the deep seat of the fire.

A casualty was left in the care of SECAmb suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.

Huge lorry fire blocks A20

A lorry fire that has closed part of the A20 is sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the air above the Kent coast.

Traffic is being held on the west-bound carriageway near Dover[1] while emergency services deal with the blaze, with the fumes visible for miles around.

The fire is sending smoke shooting into the sky. Photo: Chris Kellers

The fire is sending smoke shooting into the sky. Photo: Chris Kellers

The fire is sending smoke shooting into the sky. Photo: Chris Kellers

Firefighters are using compressed air foam to battle the fire, which is affecting one large lorry.

Two fire engines are currently at the scene, but it is believed more could be on the way.

The road is blocked from Old Folkestone Road (Western Heights roundabout) to the B2011 (Court Wood Interchange).

More as we get it.

Avoid getting stuck on Kent’s roads by keeping up-to-date on all of the latest traffic and travel news here[2] or by following our live blog[3].

Read more: All the latest news from Dover[4]

References

  1. ^ Dover (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ keeping up-to-date on all of the latest traffic and travel news here (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  3. ^ following our live blog (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  4. ^ Read more: All the latest news from Dover (www.kentonline.co.uk)

Immigration protesters descend on town

Police appeared to outnumber protesters as an anti-immigration march[1] is held in Dover[2].

People began assembling at 1pm at Union Street – away from the town’s train station where police vans and cars were waiting.

A red flare has gone off at the scene

A red flare has gone off at the scene

A red flare has gone off at the scene

Officers wearing riot gear, many drafted in from outside the county, gathered at the station as a start point had not been released.

However the bulk of the protesters, of which there were a few dozen, soon started making their presence known.

Red flares were set off as the march moved onto the A20 Snargate Street where the group remains.

Dozens have gathered for the march in opposition to the housing of attempted refugees

Dozens have gathered for the march in opposition to the housing of attempted refugees

Dozens have gathered for the march in opposition to the housing of attempted refugees
Officers lined up in preparation for the protest in Dover

Officers lined up in preparation for the protest in Dover

Officers lined up in preparation for the protest in Dover
Officers have set up a rolling roadblock on the A20 Snargate Street as the protest continues (47688944)

Officers have set up a rolling roadblock on the A20 Snargate Street as the protest continues (47688944)

Officers have set up a rolling roadblock on the A20 Snargate Street as the protest continues (47688944)

Protesters have blocked off the road for at least an hour, standing or sitting in the middle of the road.

They remain there with police setting up a rolling roadblock around the group.

An eyewitness has suggested two people have been arrested for obstructing the flow of traffic, with one man almost being hit by a lorry.

The witness said: “On the whole the protest has been largely peaceful with a couple of tense moments.

“A woman was picked up off the ground by officers but wasn’t arrested. A man who appeared to be a military veteran started shouting at the police and was softly pushed back – again it wasn’t anything too serious.”

Flags are being flown at the protest (47687969)

Flags are being flown at the protest (47687969)

Flags are being flown at the protest (47687969)
Officers were preparing at the train station ahead of the march

Officers were preparing at the train station ahead of the march

Officers were preparing at the train station ahead of the march

Another man is being treated by paramedics after collapsing in the street, thought to have been from heat exhaustion.

The ‘Defend our borders’ march was advertised in advance by a group calling itself the Pembrokeshire Patriots.

Its name stems from the use of a Welsh barracks – similar to Folkestone’s[3] Napier Barracks – to house people caught crossing the Channel.

The group refuses to be labelled as far right.

More information as we get it.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover[4]

References

  1. ^ an anti-immigration march (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ Dover (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  3. ^ Folkestone’s (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  4. ^ Read more: All the latest news from Dover (www.kentonline.co.uk)

‘Fix it, open it and then leave us all in peace’

It’s the news no driver wants to hear – once again parts of the busy M20 are to be closed to allow roadworks to take place.

Highways England will be carrying out yet more work of the road through Maidstone[1] and Malling[2] during the summer, with some full overnight closures planned between junctions 4 and 6.

The recently-finished smart motorway section of the M20

The recently-finished smart motorway section of the M20

The recently-finished smart motorway section of the M20

Workers are expected to be on site from June 7 to resurface the carriageway, refresh line markings and replace road studs.

The work is expected to take place run until August 27.

Most of the work will be facilitated by lane closures between 8pm and 6pm.

However, there will be some overnight carriageway closures, with the road shut eastbound on July 12-15 and westbound on August 23-26.

A diversion will be in place, with drivers sent via the A228, M2 and A229 – a distance of around 13.5 miles compared to the 4.5 miles along the M20.

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The news of the latest scheme has been met with exasperation by Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch, who has previously hit out at what see described as “shambolic” management of projects on the motorway which runs through her constituency.

“These night-time road closures are utterly ridiculous given how much disruption residents along the M20 and A20 have already faced,” she said.

“I wish they would just shut it, fix it, open it and then leave us all in peace.”

Roadworks on the M20 have been a common sight in recent years, particularly in the section between junctions 3 and 5 where two years of work was carried out to convert a 6.5-mile stretch into a smart motorway.

That work finished in May last year, but by the summer workmen were back – this time to replace a footbridge which collapsed when it was hit by a lorry in August 2016[3].

Tracey Crouch MP

Tracey Crouch MP

Tracey Crouch MP

Speaking at the time, Ms Crouch said: “It has been a shambolically managed project from the outset and requests to combine works to minimise disruption have been ignored.

“Unfortunately Highways England appear to do whatever it likes, when it likes, with little accountability, something that needs to be addressed for future road build projects.”

Avoid getting stuck on Kent’s roads by keeping up-to-date on all of the latest traffic and travel news here[4] or by following our live blog[5].

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone[6]

Read more: All the latest news from Malling[7]

References

  1. ^ Maidstone (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ Malling (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  3. ^ this time to replace a footbridge which collapsed when it was hit by a lorry in August 2016 (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  4. ^ latest traffic and travel news here (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  5. ^ following our live blog (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  6. ^ Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  7. ^ Read more: All the latest news from Malling (www.kentonline.co.uk)

Two-mile TORMENT for M20 drivers after lorry bursts into flames

Two-mile TORMENT for M20 drivers after lorry bursts into flames causing ‘significant delays’ in both directions

  • A lorry was reported to be on fire this morning and has caused significant delays to traffic in both directions
  • Four fire engines and  a water carrier were sent to the incident along with Kent Police and Highways England
  • Pictures show a massive tailback of traffic on both carriageways, with smoke billowing out above the road 
  • ** Have you been caught up in the M20 traffic delays? Email pictures to [email protected] **

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Have YOU been caught up in the traffic delays?

Email pictures to [email protected]

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Drivers on the M20 are facing ‘significant delays’ to traffic in both directions for two miles after a lorry burst into flames early this morning. 

Four fire engines and a water carrier were sent to the incident. Kent Police have also been called to the scene along with Highways England.

A lorry caught on fire and blocked the London[2] bound carriageway. There are no reported injuries and the cause is not yet known.

All traffic is being temporarily held in both directions between junction 9 for A20 Fougeres Way and junction 8 for the A20 Ashford Road.

Just before midday today Highways England reported that the lorry was still ‘well alight’. 

Pictures show a massive tailback of traffic on both carriageways, with smoke billowing out above the road.

A lorry fire on the M20 has caused 'significant delays' for two miles to traffic in both directions (queues pictured above). A lorry was reported to be on fire and blocking the London bound carriageway

A lorry fire on the M20 has caused 'significant delays' for two miles to traffic in both directions (queues pictured above). A lorry was reported to be on fire and blocking the London bound carriageway

A lorry fire on the M20 has caused ‘significant delays’ for two miles to traffic in both directions (queues pictured above). A lorry was reported to be on fire and blocking the London bound carriageway

The lorry pictured after the fire was extinguished. Four fire engines and a water carrier were sent to the incident. Kent Police have also been called to the incident along with Highways England

The lorry pictured after the fire was extinguished. Four fire engines and a water carrier were sent to the incident. Kent Police have also been called to the incident along with Highways England

 The lorry pictured after the fire was extinguished. Four fire engines and a water carrier were sent to the incident. Kent Police have also been called to the incident along with Highways England

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement that it ‘was called to a lorry fire on the M20 London-bound, between junction 8 for Hollingbourne and junction 9 for Ashford, resulting in both carriageways being closed’.

It added: ‘Five fire engines and a bulk water carrier attended, and crews wearing breathing apparatus put the fire out using compressed air foam and a hose reel jet.

‘There were no reported injuries and the cause is not yet known.’ 

Motorists stuck in the traffic jam took to social media to vent their frustrations, with some even playing rugby to keep themselves entertained.

One person wrote: ‘M20 9-8 closed. There’s no way you’re moving in the next couple of hours if you’re at the front, there’s thousands of people behind. Not even an epic fire.’

Another Twitter user said: ‘Northbound on the M20. Major blockage due to a large lorry fire. 

A motorist pictured waiting outside their cars during the long traffic delays

A motorist pictured waiting outside their cars during the long traffic delays

Some even played rugby to keep themselves entertained

Some even played rugby to keep themselves entertained

A motorist pictured waiting outside their carsduring the long traffic delays (left) and even playing rugby to keep themselves entertained (right), in pictures posted to social media

An aerial view showing the lorry and fire crews on the carriageway after the blaze was extinguished. Highways England said: 'Please allow extra journey time if you're travelling M20 westbound (London bound)'

An aerial view showing the lorry and fire crews on the carriageway after the blaze was extinguished. Highways England said: 'Please allow extra journey time if you're travelling M20 westbound (London bound)'

An aerial view showing the lorry and fire crews on the carriageway after the blaze was extinguished. Highways England said: ‘Please allow extra journey time if you’re travelling M20 westbound (London bound)’

Traffic queued in three lanes following the incident, which happened early this morning and resulted in both carriageways being closed. There are no reported injuries and the cause is not yet known

Traffic queued in three lanes following the incident, which happened early this morning and resulted in both carriageways being closed. There are no reported injuries and the cause is not yet known

Traffic queued in three lanes following the incident, which happened early this morning and resulted in both carriageways being closed. There are no reported injuries and the cause is not yet known

Fire engines and emergency workers pictured at the scene. Kent Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement that it 'was called to a lorry fire on the M20 London-bound, between junction 8 for Hollingbourne and junction 9 for Ashford'

Fire engines and emergency workers pictured at the scene. Kent Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement that it 'was called to a lorry fire on the M20 London-bound, between junction 8 for Hollingbourne and junction 9 for Ashford'

Fire engines and emergency workers pictured at the scene. Kent Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement that it ‘was called to a lorry fire on the M20 London-bound, between junction 8 for Hollingbourne and junction 9 for Ashford’

An aerial view showing the traffic delays. Highways England earlier said that the fire has caused queues stretching back more than two miles, and that journey times have been increased by at least 20 minutes

An aerial view showing the traffic delays. Highways England earlier said that the fire has caused queues stretching back more than two miles, and that journey times have been increased by at least 20 minutes

An aerial view showing the traffic delays. Highways England earlier said that the fire has caused queues stretching back more than two miles, and that journey times have been increased by at least 20 minutes

‘We have been in the same position for two hours and there is no sign of anything changing in the near future. I hope all involved are safe!’ 

And a third person missed an appointment for their Covid vaccine in Maidstone due to the delays, tweeting to an online pharmacy: ‘Due to huge lorry fire on M20 I missed it. 

‘We’re still stationery but if traffic gets moving is there any point me trying to get there? How do they deal with late arrivals?’

Highways England said: ‘Please allow extra journey time if you’re travelling M20 westbound (London bound). 

‘The carriageway remains closed between J9 and J8 due to the lorry fire. Work to clear the carriageway is underway. Congestion is back to J10.’

Motorists stuck in the traffic jam took to social media to vent their frustrations, with one person tweeting: 'Been stuck on the M20 for an hour and a half now. Any news of movement soon please anyone?'

Motorists stuck in the traffic jam took to social media to vent their frustrations, with one person tweeting: 'Been stuck on the M20 for an hour and a half now. Any news of movement soon please anyone?'

Motorists stuck in the traffic jam took to social media to vent their frustrations, with one person tweeting: ‘Been stuck on the M20 for an hour and a half now. Any news of movement soon please anyone?’

The Government-owned company earlier said that the fire has caused queues stretching back more than two miles, and that journey times have been increased by at least 20 minutes. 

It comes as two crashes have brought the A2 elsewhere in Kent to a grinding halt.

A spokesman for the agency said: ‘Kent Fire and Rescue Services are on scene along with Highways England Traffic Officers.

‘Road users wishing to continue their journey eastbound (coast bound) are advised to follow the hollow, yellow circle diversion symbol. Exit the M20 at J8 on to the A20 eastbound towards Ashford. Remain on the A20 to rejoin at J9.

‘Road users wishing to continue their westbound (London bound) are advised to exit the at J9 and follow the above diversion, in reserve and hollow, yellow square diversion symbol.

‘Please allow extra time for your journey should you be travelling in the area.’

References

  1. ^ Katie Weston For Mailonline (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ London (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Lost lorries return to village

A quiet village is once again being jammed by lost truck drivers as a council monitoring scheme ends.

Mersham is sited a mile away from the Sevington Inland Border Facility (IBF) in Ashford[1], which was constructed to cope with increased haulage checks after Brexit.

The junction into Mersham village from the A20 had been monitored constantly until this week

The junction into Mersham village from the A20 had been monitored constantly until this week

The junction into Mersham village from the A20 had been monitored constantly until this week

Within days of the IBF opening, lorries were getting stuck[2] throughout the village and tearing up turf as they tried to manoeuvre out.

Partially responsible was the fact the lorry park didn’t have a dedicated postcode[3], so drivers were being directed to Mersham by sat-nav.

Following an outcry from inconvenienced residents, more signage was erected[4] at J10A of the M20.

However this proved to be ineffective to the point where Kent County Council created a 24/7 monitoring system outside the village in early April.

Officers were stationed in a car at the A20 entrance to Mersham to redirect any stray lorries, which seemed to stem the issue for a time.

A hapless lorry driver was spotted in a tricky position on Tuesday. Picture: Maxine Smith

A hapless lorry driver was spotted in a tricky position on Tuesday. Picture: Maxine Smith

A hapless lorry driver was spotted in a tricky position on Tuesday. Picture: Maxine Smith

But now KCC has confirmed the monitoring system has ended, and reports of stuck lorries have ballooned again.

Pictures have started being posted on the Mersham Facebook group of trucks in precarious positions.

Resident Sharon Swandale got so annoyed with the issue that she’s come up with a partial solution.

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.”

Ironically, the What3Words code for the spot is escape.transit.matter.

Yesterday morning saw a truck driver have to reverse out of Mersham with the assistance of a resident. Picture: Stewart Ross

Yesterday morning saw a truck driver have to reverse out of Mersham with the assistance of a resident. Picture: Stewart Ross

Yesterday morning saw a truck driver have to reverse out of Mersham with the assistance of a resident. Picture: Stewart Ross

Another homeowner said that efforts to curb the trucks’ entry has actually resulted in more inconvenience for those living there.

Jade Collins said: “Putting cones on the slip road into Mersham off the A20 clearly isn’t stopping lorries coming in, it just makes it dodgy for us in cars to turn in as it’s a very abrupt corner now.”

When asked about this week’s resurgence in troublesome trucks, a KCC spokesman 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 DfT is ensuring the postcode for the site is available on Google and sat navs.”

Keep up-to-date with developments on transport and stories that will impact how you travel[5]

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford[6]

References

  1. ^ Ashford (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ lorries were getting stuck (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  3. ^ didn’t have a dedicated postcode (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  4. ^ more signage was erected (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  5. ^ Keep up-to-date with developments on transport and stories that will impact how you travel (www.kentonline.co.uk)
  6. ^ Read more: All the latest news from Ashford (www.kentonline.co.uk)