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Operation Brock haulier permit system 

Frequently asked questions

What is the haulier permit scheme?

The new permit system has been introduced to ensure all freight drivers heading to the Port of Dover have followed the correct route. The permits, which will be enforced by partners of the Kent & Medway Resilience Forum, are being brought in following a recent rise in non-compliance in the traffic management system in place to keep traffic flowing into the Port of Dover.


It will ensure that when released from Operation Brock, only freight issued with a permit will be allowed entry to the Port of Dover. Permits will only be issued to freight released from the Dover bound queue.


Why is the permit scheme being introduced?

The aim of the new permit system is to improve the flow of freight through Operation Brock, Dover TAP, the town of Dover and into the Port. It will also reduce the need for the sudden closures of the A20 Roundhill Tunnels and help keep local roads flowing more freely in busy periods.


Whilst many freight drivers adhere to the rules of Operation Brock, there are a minority of hauliers who contribute to delays elsewhere in the county by attempting to skip the queues. Stepping up measures to ensure that freight drivers stick to the traffic management plan and do not circumnavigate the queues will reduce congestion and make all journeys to the Port of Dover more efficient.


Compliance is not just necessary to effectively manage the traffic heading through Kent but will also help to reduce the impact of severe disruption on local communities.


The new permit system will mean that, when Dover TAP is activated on the A20, permits will be issued to Port of Dover bound freight drivers at the front of the Operation Brock queue. Hauliers will then have to leave the A20 at the Courtwood Interchange, at the junction of the A20 and the B2011, where their permits will be checked.


If they have complied, they will be allowed to re-enter the TAP queue on the A20 and continue their onward journey to the port. Put simply, if hauliers have not followed the correct route through Brock and do not have a permit, they will not be able to access the Port of Dover. 

Courtwood Interchange

Courtwood Interchange map.png

​What are the implications if hauliers don’t comply?

When Operation Brock is activated, the Statutory Instrument legislation is activated which identifies the prescribed routes for freight to access the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel. Freight which diverts from the prescribed routes face the potential of financial penalty issued by the Police and DVSA.


Freight which is found at the check point not to have the correct Permit will be refused entry to the port and will be instructed to return to the rear of the Brock queues. There they must wait in line to acquire the required Permit.

Hauliers will need a unique permit for every journey they make to the port and these can only be obtained at the front of Brock. Permits will be produced in a format that will not allow for replication or copying.  


What about local hauliers?

Those Kent hauliers that qualify for a Local Haulier Permit will be sent this ahead of the busy summer period. There is no need to apply for a local licence as, if you fall within the catchment area, KMRF already has your details.


You can find out more about Local Haulier Permits by visiting local haulier permit scheme page


Local deliveries and vehicles not attempting to access the port will not require a permit, and onward travel will be allowed at the check point.

Can you bypass the Op Brock queue and collect a permit at Sevington IBF or Ashford Truck Stop?

As with the normal rules and regulations attached with the Statutory Instruments, hauliers are required to pass through Brock to gain access to the Port as part of an international Journey. All freight will need to access a permit at the head of Brock to pass through the security check at Courtwood. Any vehicle already ahead of the checkpoint before the permits are issued will not require one and can access the port as usual. Hauliers cannot by-pass Brock to access facilities in Dover. All freight on an international journey must pass through Brock as per the Statutory Instruments.


Permits will be issued at the relevant facilities after the system is activated so as not to alienate those drivers who have already legitimately travelled through the system before activation of the permit regime. This does not mean, however,  that vehicles can bypass Brock after activation and receive a permit.

I am transporting horses to Europe, do I need to queue and obtain a permit?

As per existing plans, animals in transit are not required to queue, and this will be the case for the permit scheme as well.

Will the checking of HGVs at the Courtwood Interchange affect local traffic?

The Permit Trial will further stress the junction at Courtwood, and we would advise residents to avoid the A20 where possible when travelling to Dover in favour of alternative routes that freight will be barred from accessing.


The permit scheme at Courtwood will have staff in place to facilitate the safe negotiation of the junction for traffic crossing the B2011 along with freight being turned and allowed entry to the Port.


We emphasise that this system is a trial to mitigate the isolation of local communities by spontaneous congestion and ask for understanding at peak periods.

Are there any exemptions from the queues?

The scheme is a trial for this summer in peak periods and applies to all freight vehicles (over 7.5t) planning to cross the Channel from the Port of Dover only.


Local Hauliers holding a ‘Standard International’ O-Licence based in the administrative district boundaries of Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Ashford, Canterbury, Thanet, and Faversham will be issued with Local Haulier Permits which allow hauliers to travel directly from their operating centres in East Kent to the Channel Ports, without having to join the Operation Brock queues. These permits are being to sent those hauliers automatically.


The scheme does not apply to domestic freight delivering in Dover or those collecting containers or domestic unaccompanied trailers from the port. These vehicles will be able to travel, deliver and collect goods as usual. Vehicles undertaking domestic trips will therefore be able to use the contraflow on the M20 and the outside lane of Dover TAP to access Dover as domestic freight does now.

Will the new permit system increase queue times or impact on the drivers’ hours?

The new permit system will have minimal impact in terms of increasing queue times within Dover TAP, so drivers will need to follow existing rules around drivers’ hours and make similar arrangements to what they do now.

Does the permit expire?

The permit itself will not expire but will be collected at the Port, allowing one journey per permit.


We use 3rd party hauliers to take our trailers to Europe. When should they collect a permit?

The Local Haulier Permit Scheme criteria is clear that if a company uses 3rd party hauliers who qualify for the Local Hauliers Permit, then they can travel to the Port. However, if they choose to use hauliers from outside the Local Haulier Permit Scheme, then they will have to travel through the Op Brock queue and collect a permit before they pick up their trailers, as they are on an international journey.


Permits issued in Op Brock are not time-limited – as long as they are in possession of the permit by the time they reach the checkpoint in Dover TAP, they can proceed to the Port of Dover where the permit will be collected from them.


I need to make a delivery in East Kent before crossing the Channel – do I need to return to the Op Brock queue to collect a permit after making my delivery?

Permits are not time limited. If you are delivering goods/stopping off in East Kent and then crossing the Channel, you should enter Op Brock and collect your permit. Then, depending on where you are delivering to, either make that delivery and proceed to Dover TAP for the permit to be checked, or head to Dover TAP and then make your delivery. Once you have made your delivery and had your permit checked, you can then proceed to the port where your permit will be collected.


Are welfare facilities provided in Op Brock/Dover TAP?

No – humanitarian assistance is only provided in extreme situations. Drivers should check before they travel and make sure they come prepared for the duration of the queue. Toilets, rest rooms, and showers can be used at existing facilities in Kent such as Ashford Truck Stop.

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