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Flanders roundabout in Ashford completed and shortlisted for 'Roundabout of the Year'

A roundabout has been completed, having already been shortlisted for a top national accolade.

The circular connecting the A2070 and Romney Marsh Road in Ashford has been rebranded the Flanders Roundabout.

Eight soldiers' silhouettes have been added to the roundabout. Pictures: Ashford Borough Council
Eight soldiers' silhouettes have been added to the roundabout. Pictures: Ashford Borough Council

Eight soldiers' silhouettes - a common sight during the 2018 First World War centenary celebrations - have been dotted around the island, accompanied by a host of poppies.

Also featuring on the unique roundabout is the floral tank once situated on Vicarage Lane.

KentOnline reporter Charlie Harman was contacted by Kevin Beresford, who showed an interest in an article regarding the roundabout's imminent installation.

Mr Beresford is the president of the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society, and believed Ashford's latest roundabout could feature in his annual Best of British calendar - also meaning it would be shortlisted for the 'Roundabout of the Year' award.

The assemblage will feature in the 'Best of British Roundabouts 2021' calendar. Picture: Ashford Borough Council
The assemblage will feature in the 'Best of British Roundabouts 2021' calendar. Picture: Ashford Borough Council

Kent County Council has today revealed that the junction has been entered into the running for the hotly contested title.

Not only are the decorations a factor in making it stand out, the Flanders Roundabout also features unique-in-Britain safety measures inspired by a Dutch system.

KCC schemes project manager Christopher Koningen said of the so-called 'turbo roundabout' system: "The design incorporates red surfacing with white hatching to separate lanes to encourage drivers to not cross those areas.

“It has the added benefit of allowing both lanes on the approach to the roundabout from the A2070 to be used to turn right towards the town centre, increasing capacity.

“This means the signs look very different to anything else you will see in this country with the symbols indicating that drivers can use the left lane to turn right.”

The floral tank previously based on Vicarage Lane has been relocated to the junction. Picture: Ashford Borough Council
The floral tank previously based on Vicarage Lane has been relocated to the junction. Picture: Ashford Borough Council

The innovative system is now being considered for nationwide use.

KCC cabinet member for highways and transport, Michael Payne, said: “Once again a forward-thinking member of our Kent Highways team has introduced traffic management benefits that could also potentially be used elsewhere in the country to make a difference.

“The roundabout itself is now visually enjoyable as well thanks to Ashford Borough Council’s input.”

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