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Home Kent News Article
The opening of part of a multi-million pound new road this morning has caused traffic chaos.
Drivers have been stuck on the A299 and surrounding roads near Manston airport for hours.
"a smoother and faster journey? blimey - 50 minutes to get from minster to ramsgate this morning - what an absolute joke"
Another driver spent an hour just travelling between Minster and Dover.
It comes as the council changes the road lay-out in the area.
It is opening a new dual carriageway between the Cliffs End roundabout and Richborough power station and closing part of the A256 Sandwich Road to work on the Lord of the Manor Junction.
There are also more problems on the A256 after an accident this morning, which has partially blocked the road between Foads Lane in Cliffs End and Ebbsfleet Lane.
The closure means there will be no access for through traffic heading south to Sandwich, Deal or Dover, or north in the opposite direction on this part of the A256 established route.
Vehicles will be diverted south along the new dual carriageway west of Cliffsend, from the new Cliffsend roundabout to the new Sevenscore roundabout and on to Richborough, where they will rejoin the A256 at the roundabout next to the former power station.
Drivers travelling between Thanet and Sandwich, Deal and Dover, can expect a smoother and faster journey as they use the new dual carriageway to travel from the A299 west of Cliffsend to Richborough and vice versa.
Through traffic can still travel to and from Ramsgate using the A299 Canterbury Road East and the Lord of the Manor roundabout.
The closure is for cabling and drainage to be installed, with new kerbs, surfacing, road signs, street lighting and specialist signal equipment.
The roundabout at Lord of the Manor will be made larger and new traffic signals installed.
Letters have been sent to people in the area explaining the changes.
Kent Highways states: "If the road was to be kept open the works would take much longer to complete and may not be to such a high standard as we would have to work around moving vehicles."
The A256 Sandwich Road section will reopen on December 16.
A Kent County Council spokesman said: "The closure of part of Sandwich Road was well advertised in advance.
"We have already made some changes today to cope with the traffic flows, and will continue to monitor the situation.
"While we do understand drivers' frustration, it is in everbody's interests to get this work done quickly.
"We would ask drivers to be patient, as our experience shows that the traffic movements will settle down as time goes on.
"We will try our best to keep disruption to a minimum, while drivers can help by adjusting their journeys where they can.
"Once the East Kent Access is completed next year, it will provide better road connections between the Isle of Thanet, the national motorway network, Kent International Airport, Canterbury, and the European gateways of Ramsgate, Dover and the Channel Tunnel, with eight kilometres of the A256 and A299 upgraded to dual carriageway."
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