400 lorries entering Kent without Brexit permit fined

More than 400 lorry drivers have been slapped with GBP300 fines for not having a permit to enter Kent – a measure brought in due to Brexit.  Hauliers travelling from around the UK heading to France have to get a Kent Access Permit before entering the county so they can carry on their way to the Continent. Much of the extra red tape brought in since Britain stopped being under EU rules on January 1 has caused controversy and hold-ups at the border.

Today Kent Police said officers handed out a total of 407 fines over the new permits in the two weeks since the new rules came into effect. Another further 152 HGV drivers were seen breaking traffic rules, including trying to get round the huge queuing system for lorries entering the port. Lorries tried to bypass the stacked HGVs – or Operation Brock as it is known – by going down the M20 contraflow or using the A20 as an illegal shortcut, police said.

HGV drivers now need a Kent Access Permit if their vehicle is over 7.5 tonnes and leaving the UK via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel.  The permit – which is valid for 24 hours – helps manage traffic by confirming drivers have the right documents for EU import controls, Kent Police said.

Claire Nix, assistant chief constable of Kent Police, said: “Whilst the majority of HGV drivers travelling to Europe via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel are entering the county with a valid Kent Access Permit in place, there are still too many who we are having to stop, fine and turn back to their point of origin. “If this trend continues then it could potentially lead to traffic disruption here in Kent, where the volume of freight is expected to increase significantly over the next few weeks. “It remains very important that companies exporting goods via Kent ports know exactly what is required of their drivers before they start their journeys, which also currently includes a negative COVID-19 test result received within 72 hours of their planned departure to France. 

“This test should be taken outside of Kent at one of the more than 30 haulier advice sites located around the country that offer them, where drivers can also receive free border-readiness checks. “Those who obtain a valid Kent Access Permit and a negative COVID-19 test result before entering Kent will be fast-tracked past any queues to the ports. “We in the Kent Resilience Forum have spent many months planning for the end of the EU transition period and we have appropriate plans in place to deal with any traffic disruption that may occur. 

“We hope everyone planning to access the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel in the weeks and months to come also plays their part to help keep Kent moving.”

You may also like...