Delays expected as part of A256 closes
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"
One driver trying to
get to work at the Pfizer site from Birchington gave up and went
Another driver spent an hour just travelling between Minster and
It comes as the council changes the road lay-out in the
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.
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
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
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
"We have already made some changes
today to cope with the traffic flows, and will continue to monitor
"While we do understand drivers'
frustration, it is in everbody's interests to get this work done
"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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