Reports that there are plans to place hundreds of portable toilets along the M20 if there is a no deal Brexit and the introduction of new border checks to cater for truck drivers facing gridlock heading towards Dover have been criticised by the Road Haulage Association (RHA).
Contingency plans are being made for 13 miles of the coast-bound M20, between junction 8 near Maidstone and junction 9 near Ashford, to hold 2000 HGVs in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Last weekend, it was reported in several newspapers that there are plans for portable toilets to be placed at intervals along the motorway. The Daily Mail reported that the logistics companies that arrange the supply of the toilets have signed non-disclosure agreements to try to keep the arrangements secret.
Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA, said: “Of course we welcome the news that the needs of the thousands of HGV drivers heading towards Dover each day have been taken into consideration but how on earth will the system work?
“If the hard shoulder is to be used for traffic heading towards the Tunnel and the outside lane used by traffic heading towards the Port – where will the toilets be located? We cannot expect drivers to run across two active motorway lanes.
“A more effective, hygienic and safe solution is needed. Thought should to be given to mobile truck mounted facilities that can utilise the central area, be easily emptied and cleaned.”
The RHA also note that if the no-deal scenario with miles of gridlocked traffic were to play out, truck drivers would need more than toilet facilities, but also food and water.
“On peak days over 10,000 freight vehicles pass through Dover. To plan for 2000 trucks over 13 miles is at best wildly optimistic,” said Burnett. “Drivers don’t just need somewhere to stop, they need to be given the same consideration as all other road users. Toilets facilities, food and water are a human right – not a privilege.”