Operation Stack: British troops called in and MoD land used as car park to ease congestion crisis

Lorries have been parked along M20

Rose Troup Buchanan
Friday 31 July 2015 14:26
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Lorries parked along the motorway as part of Operation Stack
Lorries parked along the motorway as part of Operation Stack

British troops will be involved in an operation to ease traffic congestion in Kent as the chaos in Calais continues.

Following a Cobra meeting on Friday morning, David Cameron confirmed the Ministry of Defence will use land around Folkestone as a temporary parking space, allowing some relief for the heavily congested motorway.

The Prime Minister, who recently returned from a four-day tour of South East Asia, also said sniffer dogs and extra fencing would be sent to France to help struggling French authorities in Calais.

It is understood by The Independent that plans for the use of the land, owned by the MoD, will see British soldiers working alongside local police, who have so far overseen Operation Stack, in an auxiliary role.

The plans are reportedly being co-ordinated by civilian, rather than military, authorities.

Two migrants cling to the roof of a freight truck as it leaves the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone
Migrants escape from the French Police as they try to catch a train to reach England
French gendarmes attempt to block a migrant after he entered the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais

An estimated 6,000 lorries are parked along the M20, which remains closed coastbound from Junctions 8 to eleven.

Mr Cameron, speaking after the Cobra meeting in Downing Street, said he would be speaking to France's President François Hollande later on Friday.

"This is going to be a difficult issue right across the summer," he said.

"I will have a team of senior ministers who I will be working to deal with it, and we rule nothing out in taking action to deal with this very serious problem.

"We are absolutely on it. We know it needs more work."

It comes as the migrant crisis in Calais continues to worsen, with hundreds of desperate migrants attempting to enter the Channel tunnel for the fourth consecutive night.

French security and police have been dispatched to the port where approximately 100 migrants streamed past officers as they attempted to enter the Tunnel overnight.

Although security forces eventually regained control, they were unable to prevent the closure of the tunnel in Coquelles.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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