UK proposes to use Manston Airport site as lorry park

3 August 2015 (Last Updated August 3rd, 2015 18:30)

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has approached former owners of the Manston Airport to use the site as an emergency lorry park during Operation Stack.

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has approached former owners of the Manston Airport to use the site as an emergency lorry park during Operation Stack.

Operation Stack involves turning the M20 motorway in Kent, into a lorry park for vehicles waiting to cross the English channel due to an ongoing strike by French workers.

The two sides are in the process of signing a three-month agreement, which is likely to include a provision for monthly renewal, reported Kent Online.

Sections of the M20 motorway in Kent were gridlocked and had come to a standstill recently as thousands of migrants have been attempting to storm the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, France, to enter the UK.

BBC quoted a French police union as saying that a Channel Tunnel freight terminal had experienced more than 1,700 migrant intrusions overnight.

Following repeated intrusions, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has announced the deployment of 100 additional guards in its Eurotunnel terminal.

DfT has been forced to impose the stack repeatedly over the past few months because of delays in the services of the tunnel due to striking French workers.

The proposal to convert the airport into a lorry park is being opposed by locals and campaign groups.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said the proposal would simply shift the issue to a different part of the country, reported the Guardian.

The Manston Airport was shut down in 2014 as it was incurring losses of around £10,000 a day.

Since then, the closure has been opposed by various campaign groups who have been urging the local council to issue a compulsory purchase order to re-open the airport.