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Work to remove Orbital Park roundabout on A2070 starts after delays caused by Operation Brock


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Work to replace a busy roundabout in Ashford with traffic lights has finally started after being pushed back twice because of Operation Brock.

National Highways initially planned to reduce a stretch of the A2070 Bad Munstereifel Road to a single lane in both directions after the Easter weekend as part of the ‘Bellamy Gurner’ scheme.

The black line shows long delays around the Orbital Park roundabout area this morning
The black line shows long delays around the Orbital Park roundabout area this morning

However, 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.

But last night, contractors finally brought in the first lane closure as they prepare to remove the roundabout.

A full road closure was in place on the westbound carriageway from 8pm until 6am with a fully signposted diversion in place.

Today, a similar closure will be introduced for one night on the eastbound side of the roundabout, heading towards Ashford Retail Park, from 8pm to 6am.

The planned new layout
The planned new layout
One lane will be closed in both directions for six weeks
One lane will be closed in both directions for six weeks
The eastbound stretch will close on Tuesday night
The eastbound stretch will close on Tuesday night

The dual carriageway will be reduced to one lane in both directions from the Sevington 'Jet Roundabout' to the Cloverleaf Roundabout for six weeks.

The ‘Jet Roundabout’ was built close to Sevington church as part of the Junction 10a scheme.

Despite the disruption, Ashford's MP Damian Green feels now is the right time to start.

He said: "Let's hope we can get through this work without too many Operation Brock problems affecting it.

"It will be an inconvenience, but one we can cope with as long as other traffic is running reasonably smoothly.

"Getting on with it now is probably a good idea rather than waiting until holiday periods."

Drivers from Finberry will be able to turn right onto the A2070 for the first time once the scheme is complete
Drivers from Finberry will be able to turn right onto the A2070 for the first time once the scheme is complete
The westbound carriageway was closed on Monday night
The westbound carriageway was closed on Monday night

The scheme, which first surfaced in the early 2000s, is being funded by Finberry housebuilder Crest Nicholson, with a traffic light-controlled junction replacing the roundabout.

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.

When the lane closures are brought in, bosses say the following works will be carried out:

• Removal of the Orbital Park roundabout and installation of a temporary roundabout

• Tying the south-east embankment area into the existing road

• Realigning kerbing between Waterbrook Avenue and the national speed limit to the west of Avocet Way

• Removal of sections of existing central reservation

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