Protect Dover District communities from customs checks + traffic chaos in 2019 /2020
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We, Dover District residents, learn with increasing concern (from Institute for Government, Road Haulage Association, Port of Dover, Freight Trade Association, Imperial College) that M20 and M2 and surrounding roads are likely to become continuous slow-moving traffic jams, if the UK government takes us out of the Customs Union and the Single market, so that DOVER DISTRICT AND KENT is badly affected by the customs checks that follow. We CANNOT allow our journeys to work, school or health care appointments to be subject to gridlock. Emergency vehicles in East Kent will be affected by the lorry chaos. Tourists across the channel wanting to visit White Cliffs Country will be subject to similar delays around Calais, and go elsewhere. Delays in the delivery of perishable food could cause ‘stockouts’ in local supermarkets, and Kent farmers report a lack of seasonal European workers so that crops are being wasted. As a result, food prices will rise, making life yet harsher for the most deprived. Computerised customs checks don’t yet exist and to pilot and implement them could take 5-10 years. RHA say ‘being able to achieve frictionless freight flow (if we leave the tariff-free agreement that is the customs union) is a myth’. The neglected state of the road infrastructure in East Kent means it needs to be extensively up-dated, in a sustainable manner, at the cost of the Westminster Govt, if it is to cope with the extra freight burden that leaving the customs union will cause.
The UK government at Westminster, the regional KCC, the Dover District Council, all of which have Conservative majorities, are NOT doing anywhere near enough to mitigate the damage to our Dover community that will happen when and if their decisions are implemented in 2019 or 2020. We call on Kent County Council, Dover District Council (and other EK district councils) to hold public consultations in all wards here and in other East Kent districts, before Feb 2019, to allow us, the voting public, to tell those with power what they need to do to save our communities from the negative consequences if / when we leave the customs union and the single market.
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