Highways England has activated Operation Brock on the M20 motorway in Kent to ease traffic congestion after France closed its borders with England for 48 hours after the UK confirmed a new coronavirus strain across south-east England.

To ensure traffic movement on the M20 during periods of cross-Channel disruption, Highways England will be diverting heavy goods vehicle (HGV) arriving at Kent to Manston Airport to park.

Highways England said that Operation Brock will be replacing Operation Stack, which was activated by the agency in response to the French Government’s announcement.

The French Government said that it will not allow any passengers or hauliers arriving from the UK for a period and will be closing the Port of Dover and Channel Tunnel.

The agency said that the decision to replace Operation Stack with Operation Brock was taken as it opens up more of the road network in Kent and will enable traffic movement in both the directions on the M20, whereas Stack effectively closes it to coast-bound traffic.

As part of Operation Brock, Highways England has deployed long concrete moveable barrier is put in place to allow the contraflow to happen safely.

Highways England has also advised Hauliers to avoid travelling to Kent as disruption could last for several days.

It further said that the barrier was successfully tested recently.

Highways England said that M20 will be opened on Tuesday with the new road layout in place.

It added that signed diversions will be in place whenever the M20 is closed.

In August, Highways England unveiled plan details for £27.4bn ($35.9bn) investment in the strategic road network in the UK.