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M2 closure and traffic chaos sparks Highways England to install extra diversion signs on A2

Highways bosses hope extra warning signs along the A2 can avoid a repeat of yesterday's traffic chaos.

Thousands of motorists suffered hours of hold-ups on Saturday as the first wave of the planned M2 closures between junction 5 and 7 started.

The motorway closure, which is in force again today, coincided with roadworks on the A2 at Faversham.

Drivers were stuck at a standtill for hours. Pic: Phil Day (13782482)
Drivers were stuck at a standtill for hours. Pic: Phil Day (13782482)

Disgruntled motorists blamed yesterday's traffic nightmare on a lack of preparation and complained they had little warning of the roadworks.

Now, in a bid to prevent huge tailbacks, Highways England has installed more signage stretching back to Dover warning drivers to get off the A2.

In a tweet, Highways England stated: "A lot of the congestion was caused by traffic not using the diversion route. We have placed the extra signs to make the diversion easier to follow."

The official diversion from Dover takes drivers onto the A20, leading onto the speed-reduced M20 up to junction 7, then onto the A249 and finally to junction 5 for the M2 at Stockbury.

Drivers were yesterday stuck for more than five hours as they approached the Brenley Corner junction from Canterbury on the A2, and from the Thanet Way.

Fed-up motorists tried leaving the A2 at Gate services and making their way through Boughton, however, the village became swamped and came to a standstill.

The planned closure of the M2 is the first of three full weekend closures for surfacing works.

It will remain in place throughout this weekend until 5am on Monday.

Stagecoach yesterday suspended all services into Faversham as a result of the traffic surrounding the town.

Matthew Arnold, commerical director at the firm, said he warned Highways England of the potential problems and is calling for a rethink before next weekend's closures.

Angry motorists say Highways England's decision to put extra warning signs has come 30 hours too late.

Traffic does seem to be coping well so far today.

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