MAJOR traffic delays on one of the busiest routes into Deal and Sandwich has led contractors to change their working hours to the weekends and evenings.
Motorists faced huge hold-ups when work started on cable laying on the A256 between Cliffsend and Richborough as part of the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm Project.
Temporary traffic lights were brought in twice in the last fortnight but then removed because of the disruption.
Now the contractors, Carillion EHV Project Services, who are working for Siemens PT&D, have agreed that all roadworks will now only take place over weekends and week day nights, starting on Friday.
Kent County Council roadworks manager David Latham said the traffic delays had been unacceptable.
“At peak periods traffic lights were not a viable option. We told the contractor to withdraw them and carry out the work with less disruption,” he said.
“The wind farm is of national importance and this work has got to be done but we want them to keep delays to traffic down to a minimum, although some disruption is inevitable.”
A project spokesman for Carillion said: “At the start of the roadworks it quickly became clear that the traffic management scheme devised in conjunction with Kent Highway Services was not operating as expected and the works were suspended.
“A revised scheme the following week did not resolve the matter satisfactorily and the works were again stopped.”
He added that all parties involved have now agreed that all roadworks will now only occur over weekends and week day nights.
Works will be carried on through the nights except near housing.
The spokesman said the work will stop on Sunday November 30 and start again on Friday January 9 until the completion of the project in April.
He added: “Carillion, Siemens and Thanet Offshore Wind Limited wish to apologise to anybody inconvenienced by the roadworks associated with this project.
“The contractors will continue to work with Kent Highway Services to minimise the disturbance that these activities will cause over the next few months.”
*For more information on the project visit www.thanetoffshorewind.com