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Junction 10a traffic lights to be installed in Ashford as work continues despite coronavirus

Traffic lights are set to be installed at Junction 10a next month as work continues on the scheme despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The M20 roundabout in Ashford has been signal-free since it opened to traffic in October after almost two years of construction work.

Traffic lights are set to be installed at Junction 10a next month. Picture: Ady Kerry
Traffic lights are set to be installed at Junction 10a next month. Picture: Ady Kerry

But Highways England has always planned to put in traffic lights and bosses say they are due to be installed during April.

A spokesman said: "The team are currently trying to run the project as normal, but the coronavirus is having an effect and we are monitoring the situation daily.

"There is likely to be an impact on remaining work but at the moment it’s impossible to tell if we’ll be on schedule, we certainly hope to be."

The spokesman confirmed installing the lights in April is still the plan.

Last year, bosses permanently closed two coast-facing slip roads at nearby Junction 10 as part of the project.

Traffic lights quite regularly fail at Junction 10 - as this photo from 2016 shows. Picture: Gary Browne
Traffic lights quite regularly fail at Junction 10 - as this photo from 2016 shows. Picture: Gary Browne

Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, Highways England said it expected the £104m scheme to be completed later this year, with landscaping work finishing in early 2021.

Chiefs had hoped the project would be finished by this summer, but have now pushed back the estimated completion date.

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) deputy leader Cllr Paul Bartlett (Con) welcomes the installation of traffic lights, saying it is often difficult to access the new roundabout from the A20 without them.

Cllr Bartlett - who lives close to the junction in Cheesemans Green Lane, Sevington - praised contractors for their work on the scheme.

He said last month: "We were very lucky the Department for Transport said it would be done under the accelerated construction scheme because, believe it or not, it would have taken 18 months longer to finish it had it not."

Lights were installed at the Barrey Road Ashford Retail Park junction last year. Picture: Paul Amos
Lights were installed at the Barrey Road Ashford Retail Park junction last year. Picture: Paul Amos

Do you think installing traffic lights at Junction 10a is a good idea? Comment below or email kentishexpress@thekmgroup.co.uk

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