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Notorious 'dogging' layby is finally closed

Police at the layby in 2003. Picture: JOHN WARDLEY

Police at the layby in 2003. Picture: JOHN WARDLEY

A DRIVERS' roadside rest stop used as a meeting place for outdoor sex has finally been blocked off after months of delay.

The A249 layby at Stockbury, near Maidstone, achieved notoriety in August 2003 when it was revealed as a favoured spot for “dogging” in which participants watch other couples having sex.

Kent County Council agreed its closure in January 2004 but faced complaints from road hauliers that they had done so without considering alternative rest stops for lorry drivers.

Maidstone Borough Councillor Malcolm Luxton (Lib Dem) said KCC had taken a shortsighted decision by going ahead with the closure.

He said: “At 10pm on July 21 there were 16 lorries and six cars parked up for the night in it. Where do KCC think these long distance travellers will park when this well used lay-by is closed?

“Perhaps they should have created an alternative stopping place before closing this one, or better still use the estimated £5,000 cost on repairing the lay-by for future tired drivers.”

His view was not shared by Faversham and Mid-Kent MP Hugh Robertson (Con) who welcomed the layby closure, which went ahead this week.

He said: “This lay-by has been a constant cause of upset for local residents since I became the area’s MP. None of the alternative sanctions that have been tried have been met with any success.”

A KCC spokesman said lorry drivers had a choice of alternative places to stop in the immediate area, including the motorway service area at junction eight of the M20 (Hollingbourne).

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