M20 motorway closure: junctions shut, reason for closure, latest traffic, diversion routes

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There are miles of congestion due to the fire

Drivers are being warned that the M20 is currently closed due to a fire.

The motorway is shut westbound this afternoon (27 August).

Delays are building due to the verge fire and drivers are warned to “allow extra time” for journeys.

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The M20 is also the location of Operation Brock, which is a bid to manage HGVs and other freight heading for the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel.

The measures can see the motorway closed to non-freight traffic when the demand is high.

Is the M20 open?

The motorway is currently closed westbound between junction 9, for Ashford, and junction 8, for Maidstone.

M20 is closed to “non-freight” traffic. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)M20 is closed to “non-freight” traffic. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
M20 is closed to “non-freight” traffic. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Why have closures been put in place?

The motorway is shut due to a “verge fire”.

Drivers are facing 2 miles of congestion, according to National Highways.

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The motorway is also regularly closed as preventative measure which is part of Operation Brock - aiming to tackle delays around the Port of Dover.

The contraflow system is designed to keep traffic on the M20 and other roads in Kent moving when there is disruption to travel across the English Channel.

Are there any delays on the M20?

National Highways is reporting that there are two miles of congestion due to the closure this afternoon.

What has been said about the closure?

National Highways - South East tweeted: “Traffic is currently stopped on the #M20 westbound between J9 (#Ashford) and J8 (#Maidstone) due to a verge fire.

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“Emergency services are at scene. There are approx. 2 miles of congestion on approach so please allow extra journey time.

“Update - The #M20 is now closed westbound between J9 (#Ashford) and J8 (#Maidstone) due to a verge fire. More details to follow.”

What is the diversion route?

A diversion has not yet been announced by National Highways

When the motorway is closed for Operation Brock there is a diversion route in place.

The diversion for all light vehicles such as cars (including tourist traffic bound for Eurotunnel and Port of Dover) and HGVs under 15’6 for local destinations last weekend was:

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  • Exit the M20 at J8 and take the third exit at the roundabout and at the next roundabout take the first exit on to the A20
  • Remain on the A20 to Ashford and at the Drovers Roundabout and take the fourth exit on to the A28
  • Follow the A28 to the second roundabout with the B2229 at the roundabout take the first exit B2229 (Brookfield Road) and continue to the second roundabout with the A2042
  • Take the third exit on to the A2042 and head east
  • Remain on the A2042 and at the first roundabout and take the first exit on to the A2042
  • Follow the A2042 onto the A2070 and at the first roundabout and take the second exit to remain on the A2070 to the M20 J10A roundabout
  • Take the third exit on to the A20 and remain on the A20 to rejoin the M20 at J1
  • Non freight traffic for the Eurotunnel can access at J11A from the A2

Due to heavy congestion on the diversion route on the A20 around the entry to Eurotunnel, tourist traffic bound for Port of dover is advised to follow the below strategic diversion route:

  • Leave the M20 at J7 and and take the 1st exit onto the A249 northbound.
  • Follow the A249 northbound to the M2 J5 and join the M2 eastbound at J5.
  • Continue on the M2 eastbound to J7 Brenley Corner roundabout and take the 4th exit onto the A2 eastbound.
  • Follow the A2 eastbound to the Port of Dover
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