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Live test of moveable barrier on M20

Live test of EU exit contingency plans
Starts Friday 11 December 2020

Next week Highways England are testing the moveable barrier that will help keep traffic moving in Kent when there’s cross-Channel disruption.

The test, which is being carried out with Highways England and Kent Resilience Forum, will start on Friday 11 December.

It means parts of the motorway between Maidstone and Ashford will be closed for four nights, with signed diversions in place.

The barrier will be used to create a new layout on the M20 with a contraflow system which allows traffic to travel in both directions of the motorway at the same time as port bound lorries are held when required on the coastbound carriageway until they can travel through to the Port of Dover or Eurorunnel.

Overnight closures Coast bound junction 7 to 9

To make sure the barrier is deployed and removed safely, the M20 will be closed between junction 7 (for Maidstone) and junction 9 (Ashford) overnight (8pm to 8am) on Friday 11, Saturday 12, Sunday 13, and Monday 14 December.

The motorway will return to normal by 8am on Tuesday 15 December. Whenever the M20 is closed, clearly signed diversions will be in place.

At the end of the test the barrier will be returned to the London-bound hard shoulder.

Highways England will also need to close parts of the M20 on weeknights before the test to put out traffic management.

Find out more about these closures, as well as the test, road layouts, road closures and diversion routes.

Check before you travel

Check this link before you travel

You can also contact us on 0300 123 5000 or reach the M20 Project Team direct by emailing

You can also follow on Twitter @HighwaysSEAST

Source: Highways England