Published: 16:09, 11 May 2022
| Updated: 16:35, 11 May 2022
Lane closures on the A2070 in Ashford are causing huge tailbacks as work to replace the Orbital Park roundabout with traffic lights finally begins.
Contractors officially started on Monday when an overnight road closure was put in place on Bad Munstereifel Road to block off one lane heading westbound.
Our reporter drove the route and got stuck in traffic for 30 minutes
The closure covers almost two miles and starts from the Sevington 'Jet Roundabout' to the Cloverleaf Roundabout past the Finberry turn-off.
Our reporter drove the route yesterday and was stuck in stop-start traffic from Junction 10a to the Orbital Park roundabout for 30 minutes.
Last night a further closure meant one lane on the opposite side of the carriageway is now also blocked off.
The roadworks, which are all part of the 'Bellamy Gurner' scheme, were supposed to start over Easter but were pushed back twice because of Operation Brock.
Disruption on the M20 meant contractors were told to hold off as the A2070 formed part of the 'official' six-mile Operation Brock diversion through Ashford.
The work was then pushed back again at the end of last month following a review.
The lanes will now be closed for six weeks as workers prepare to remove the Orbital Park roundabout and replace it with a traffic light-controlled junction.
The scheme, which first surfaced in the early 2000s, is being funded by Finberry housebuilder Crest Nicholson and is expected to be completed in October.
As part of the project, the Avocet Way junction which leads to the Finberry housing estate will be upgraded, allowing drivers to turn right onto the A2070 for the first time.
The Sevenoaks-based FM Conway company is in charge of the build called the ‘Bellamy Gurner’ scheme.
During the six weeks of lane closures, bosses say the following works will be carried out:
• Removal of the Orbital Park roundabout and installation of a temporary roundabout
• Realigning kerbing between Waterbrook Avenue and the national speed limit to the west of Avocet Way
• Removal of sections of existing central reservation