24 December, 2020

Update on the use of Manston

The use of the Manston Airport site for holding lorries, as a result of the French border being closed recently, has caused some local disruption.

We’re asking all Thanet residents, if you are making an essential journey, to please consider your route and follow the lead agencies for the latest information:

The waste and recycling service is currently operating as scheduled today following the traffic disruption yesterday. If any bins are missed we will aim to collect them on the next scheduled collection, which will be Monday 28 December. Please see more information about Christmas waste collections here.

Reports yesterday were that there were 3,800 vehicles at Manston. We understand that remaining capacity at Manston was being reserved for testing facilities. Military personnel have been supporting testing of drivers already in Kent, in order to help to get hauliers moving again.

The use of the Manston facility is being managed by the Department for Transport (DfT). The DfT is responsible for making sure that provisions have been made for the drivers’ welfare. This includes toilets and shower facilities, water and food on site.

Charities and organisations in Kent have been working together to coordinate food deliveries to drivers who have been caught up in the disruption caused by the former closure of the French border. We are grateful for all of the offers of practical support from within the Thanet community. If you have donations of food we encourage you to either consider our local food banks to help support the local communities or contact Kent Together on 03000 41 92 92.

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and are involved (along with other key partners) in regular Tactical and Strategic Command meetings led by the Police. Please be assured all agencies are working together to do everything that they can to resolve the situation and we appreciate your patience while we work through some very complex issues.

We would encourage you to keep following the communications channels of the lead agencies at this time. These agencies are coordinating all aspects of the operation and offer the best ways to stay accurately and regularly informed at this time.

As Thanet is in a Tier 4 area, we urge you to continue to follow the Government rules to ‘Stay at home’ and for any necessary travel encourage people to make sure they plan ahead.

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