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A20 in Ashford between Tesco Extra and Pilgrims Hospice finally reopens but without traffic lights


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Part of the A20 in Ashford has finally reopened following a two-and-a-half month closure – but new traffic lights expected to be installed are still yet to appear.

Kent County Council shut the stretch between the Pilgrims Hospice and Tesco Extra in early October, forcing drivers to take a diversion route via the A2070.

The A20 reopened on Wednesday afternoon but there's still no sign of any traffic lights. Picture: Barry Goodwin
The A20 reopened on Wednesday afternoon but there's still no sign of any traffic lights. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Contractor Tamdown Ltd was expected to be fitting traffic lights outside the 192-home Hinxhill Park estate, but the road – which reopened yesterday afternoon – remains free of signals.

KCC says gas and BT works have been completed during the closure "to minimise the need for future disruption" – but it is not known why the lights are missing.

Cllr Paul Bartlett (Con), the deputy leader of Ashford Borough Council, says the situation is "really odd".

"I suppose they needed to close the road for the gas and BT works and to put the street furniture in, but I am surprised they haven't finished it all," he said.

"There may be a planning condition in place which states the lights only need to be installed when a certain number of homes are occupied on the estate.

How the Hinxhill Park estate is set to look; the Belway Homes development includes permission for a new entrance at the rear of the William Harvey Hospital
How the Hinxhill Park estate is set to look; the Belway Homes development includes permission for a new entrance at the rear of the William Harvey Hospital

"And in my engineering expertise, which is roughly zero, I would say it would be a relatively straightforward job to put the lights in when they're needed.

"I would be amazed if it would require another closure.

"It is also worth noting that the developers have promised £21,503 towards parking restrictions to prevent overspill parking from the William Harvey Hospital, so that will benefit residents nearby the hospital in the long run."

KentOnline asked KCC why the lights are yet to appear, but is yet to receive a response.

The road has been closed numerous times in the last two years, with the most recent disruption coming in July when the stretch was shut for two weeks to allow contractors to install an electricity supply for the new estate.

Cllr Paul Bartlett (Con) doesn't think another closure of the A20 will be needed
Cllr Paul Bartlett (Con) doesn't think another closure of the A20 will be needed
The traffic lights were set to be installed at the junction of the A20 and Honeysuckle Avenue
The traffic lights were set to be installed at the junction of the A20 and Honeysuckle Avenue

Next year, more traffic lights will be put up in Ashford when contractor FM Conway starts work on the ‘Bellamy Gurner’ scheme on the A2070 Bad Munstereifel Road.

Work to replace the existing Orbital Park roundabout with lights was expected to start in the summer, but KCC is enforcing a ‘Christmas roadworks embargo’ to keep the route clear over the festive season.

FM Conway workers have moved onto the site but are currently only focusing on land off the main A2070.

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