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Operation Stack

Latest: Operation Stack is not in place.

Looking for information on current traffic conditions or road closures?

Visit either Highways England or KCC Highways who are the organisations responsible for the road network:

​When Operation Stack is needed we work with Highways England to put it in place and move freight to the port or tunnel safely.

What is Op Stack?

Operation Stack, also known as Op Stack, is a way of managing traffic during disruption to Eurotunnel or ferry services in Kent.

Lorries waiting to use these services queue on the M20 and all other traffic is diverted to other routes.

How it works

Op Stack is used between junction 8 (Maidstone services) and junction 9 (Ashford) on the M20. If more space is needed, the closed section will extend to junction 11 (Westenhanger).

Freight is separated into 2 queues on either side of the coastbound carriageway, 1 for tunnel traffic and 1 for port traffic. The middle lanes are kept clear for emergency vehicles.

Lorries are released at the request of the Port of Dover and Channel Tunnel. As we move them down the queue in stages you may see stretches of the motorway clear from time to time. 

If junction 8 to junction 11 reaches capacity, Highways England will use Manston airfield to park Port of Dover freight.

What to do when Op Stack is on


M20 slip road closures

As Op Stack is implemented there will be a significant queue of freight traffic which needs to be separated into the 2 queues. To safely manage this, partners may close the slip roads leading to the port and the tunnel for a period of time.

keep up-to-date

During Op Stack visit Highways England or follow @HighwaysSEAST or @kent_police on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the latest information.

For traffic updates on Kent's local roads follow @KentHighways.

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