Any HGV drivers heading into Kent will need a ’Kent Access Permit’ (KAP) by the 1st of January 2021 - after the Brexit transition period ends. Any drivers without a permit face fines of up to £300 and potential vehicle impoundments.
The new regulations follow cabinet minister, Michael Gove’s warning that queues of 7,000 trucks could gridlock roads in Kent and crossing the Channel could be delayed by up to two days. The Kent Access Permit has been introduced to ease queues and Brexit border issues - creating a new ’internal border.’
Gove spoke about a "worst-case scenario" which highlighted that 70 per cent of HGVs may not be ready for new checks to cross the Channel. He mentioned that the KAP will be a simple process to help truck drivers proceed smoothly with the required material. He also states that this will help to ensure that the constituents of Kent are not inconvenienced.
Drivers using the designated roads in Kent, leading to the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel with a ’red’ smart freight result - which means they have been advised not to travel - will be fined.
The KAP will be valid for 24 hours - enough to cover a single trip and will be enforced by police, DVSA enforcement officers and ANPR technology. Penalties will be imposed on the drivers heading to Dover or the Tunnel without a permit - rather than their fleet operator - who has the formal responsibility for completing the customs paperwork.
Fines will be issued on the spot but drivers will have up to 28 days to pay.
The effectiveness of the KAP has been disputed by transport experts, including the RHA.
For more information from the Government, read here.
SNAP will be working closely with nearby HGV locations and offering drivers parking and washing facilities via SNAP Account in Kent.
"Introducing the Kent Access Permit will help to ease congestion on busy routes. The number of vehicles descending into Dover was never built to support the capacity it now deals with during Brexit," says Nick Long, SNAP’s European Network Manager.
"SNAP’s Depot Parking Sites give drivers a range of parking options before they reach the M20 and around the Sandwich area. We hope that drivers can make use of these during prolonged stays in the region. SNAP’s Depot Parking scheme added an extra 300,000 parking spaces in 2019 to help support the parking crisis."
Josh Cousens | SNAP.