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Kent County Council to introduce Brexit roadworks ban as Britain leaves the EU

By Georgia Woolf

Roadworks on a number of main routes in Kent will be halted before and after the UK's departure from the European Union.

Highways bosses have informed utility companies that planned roadworks across the county cannot be carried out between February 1 and April 30 in order to ease pressure on the road network.

Eleven routes will become 'roadwork free' to help minimise disruption to roads after in the months leading up to and after Brexit.

Roadworks will be banned from 11 key routes in Kent
Roadworks will be banned from 11 key routes in Kent

In a leaked email, Kent County Council's director of highways, transportation and waste, Simon Jones, told companies that to be "best prepared" for the "uncertainties that may occur" on March 29, the authority will be stopping roadworks on a number of key routes.

Any works that are planned for early and mid-2019 on the selected roads will be rescheduled for later in the year.

But emergency works on the roads are still permitted to go ahead.

The roads affected are:

  • A299 Whitstable to St Nicholas at Wade
  • A299 St Nicholas-at-Wade through to Sevenscore Roundabout (junction with A256)
  • A256 Tilmanstone bypass lower street to A2
  • A256 Sevenscore Roundabout (junction with A299) to Lower Street roundabout
  • A249 M20 to M2
  • A229 M20 to M2
  • A20 Ashford (Junction 9) to M20 Junction 8
  • A20 Ashford (Junction 10 M20) to M20 Junction 11
  • A251 Trinity Road/Faversham Road Junction Ashford to M2
  • A28 Chilham to The Conningbrook, Kennington, and Sturry to St Nicholas-at-Wade
  • B2011 Junction with Elms Vale Road Dover to A20

Depending on the circumstances, some routes may become subject to the 'Kent Lane Rental' scheme.

The scheme involves offering companies who need to close a road to complete highway works a financial incentive in return for adjusting the time and the pace of work to cause less disruption to the roads.

A KCC spokesman said: "As part of our duty to reduce or mitigate potential disruption to our strategic local road network, we are imposing an embargo on certain roadworks.

“This will only affect planned works on strategic routes and emergency works will continue to be permitted.

“Depending on circumstances we may need to consider making some of these routes subject to Kent Lane Rental.

There are concerns Kent's motorways will become gridlocked - like in the summer of 2015 - if Britain leaves the EU without a deal on future trade and customs arrangements
There are concerns Kent's motorways will become gridlocked - like in the summer of 2015 - if Britain leaves the EU without a deal on future trade and customs arrangements

“The Lane Rental scheme encourages those that need to work on the highway to do so in a way that is less disruptive than had previously been the case.

"This is either by adjusting the timing, the way they do the work, or the pace of the work.

“We are continuing to work with all organisations affected and through the Kent corridor coordination group we are working to establish an integrated and sensible schedule of roadworks for the forthcoming months.

“Taking measures such as this can provide certainty to both Kent residents and business that strategic routes will remain safe and available whilst both our local and strategic network is improved.”

Highways England has confirmed construction of the £104 million Junction 10a in Ashford will remain unaffected.

A spokesman said: "Work on creating a new Junction 10a for the M20 near Ashford is well underway, and we are working hard to coordinate this project with our work elsewhere along the M20.

"There is no indication that progress on the junction will be affected by our other work to improve the resilience of Kent’s roads to cross-channel disruption.”

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