National Highways has rejected claims they deliberately switched off traffic cameras showing Brexit-related lorry queues.
The government company released a comment following backlash on Twitter.
It comes after one person tweeted: “THIS IS INSANE… 17km Brexit lorry queue on the M20, but the government have seemingly turned off the traffic cameras so you can’t see it!!”
Actor David Schneider shared his tweet, adding: “If you want to know how the sunlit uplands are looking they’re literally turning off cameras on the M20 so people can’t see the damage.”
But National Highways denied the cameras had been turned off intentionally, whilst admitting there had been a problem with some cameras.
National Highways rejects accusations
A spokesperson told KentOnline: “I can assure you the cameras were not switched off deliberately.
“National Highways operates a 24/7 service. The cameras tell operators based in the region how traffic is performing so that we can deploy traffic officers to help road users needing our help.”
Huge lorry queues have been building up at the port in Dover, which were put down entirely to Brexit red tape. One courier told The Independent that he had been trapped in queues of up to 15km since the new Brexit rules came into force this month.
‘It’s entirely Brexit’
He said each driver had to go through 15 to 20 minutes worth of checks under the UK government’s new Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) system.
“It’s entirely Brexit – you can’t blame it on anything else but Brexit,” the driver said, frustrated that he had to delay many deliveries.
“People will get to grips with GVMS and the new paperwork in the weeks ahead. But even if they don’t take as long, checks still take time. So the queues are bound to get worse when traffic flows pick up next month.”
Trade group Logistics UK warned at the end of last year that new biometric checks for travel to the EU could cause 27km tailbacks.
Tory MP Huw Merriman said traffic delays could be a “disaster” for both trade and the local economy in Kent.
“That per-vehicle movement will end up causing a 17-mile delay back into Kent and that would be a disaster for the local economy and a disaster for trade as well,” said Merriman, who is transport select committee chair.
Meanwhile, Dublin Port chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly told the Irish Times that the route through Dover will not “re-emerge” as a preferred option for moving goods between Ireland and Europe.
“I don’t see [the route] recovering,” he said.