We have been working with partners in the Essex Local Resilience Forum to prepare for the end of Brexit transition.
Essex Local Resilience Forum includes local councils across Essex, emergency services, the NHS and the Environment Agency. These partners, together with Highways England and other organisations, have been to planning for:
- what might happen at the end of 2020
- what might be the highest risks from 1 January 2021
For Thurrock, we believe the highest potential risk is to the road network around the junction of the A13 and M25 by the Dartford Crossing. This is because of its closeness to the Port of Purfleet.
There may also be some impact from disruption on roads in Kent that lead to Dover port and the Channel Tunnel. We expect the risk to be highest in the first weeks of January as hauliers and lorry drivers get used to the new rules. In addition, Thurrock is home to 3 major ports.
With our partners, we have taken actions to minimise any disruption.
Plans are in place for the area around Purfleet-on-Thames in case of delays or heavy traffic at the port or on surrounding roads. These plans are supported by Essex Police and Highways England. Plans will continue to be reviewed as more government guidance is released.
Funding for local services
We have received approximately £350,000 from the government to support our preparations. Examples of how we are using this include:
- additional road signs, site preparations and road network management preparations
- helping the local community and voluntary services to deal with extra demand for support
- recruiting extra staff to support areas where demand is expected to increase
- providing bikes and equipment for social care services in case highways are disrupted
- providing equipment to support emergency planning communications
Ports and borders
The government has created a 'Border Operating Model' to help ease delays and disruption at ports and borders. New border controls will be introduced in 3 stages, up to 1 July 2021. This will give businesses and hauliers time to make arrangements.
We have received £500,000 from the government to support business continuity in the event of disruption from the changes around ports and borders.
For more information, go to GOV.UK: the Border Operating Model.