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A251 between Faversham and Ashford to close for 25 days for SGN gas works

A main route used by thousands of drivers each day will be shut for almost a month.

The Ashford Road A251 - one of the main routes in and out of Faversham - is due to be closed at Badlesmere for up to 25 days for essential gas works.

The route will be shut near to the The Red Lion pub
The route will be shut near to the The Red Lion pub

As a result of the lengthy closure, highways bosses will implement 32-mile and 23-mile diversion routes for drivers heading north and south-bound - forcing them to loop around via the A252 and A2.

The work - carried out by SGN - will begin on Monday, July 27 and run through until August 20.

The route will be shut off 24 hours a day near to the Red Lion pub - with only local access being permitted.

SGN spokesman Waseem Hanif said: “We’ll be replacing our old metal gas mains and services with new plastic pipe. Our essential work will ensure the community receives a continued and reliable gas supply for many years to come.

“We understand this is a busy route, so will be working as quickly and safely as possible.

The diversions to be implemented from July 27
The diversions to be implemented from July 27

“All going well, we hope to complete this project in approximately four weeks.

“We’re working closely with the government and public health bodies to make sure we carry out our project in line with all current coronavirus safety guidance.”

Those wanting to head out of Faversham and down the A251 will be directed along the A2 to Canterbury.

Rather than take the turn-off at Harbledown, highways bosses want motorists to avoid the city and head further down the A2, taking the exit at Bridge and Bekesbourne for Howletts zoo.

They are then advised to loop back onto the London-bound A2 before getting off at Wincheap and taking the A28 to Chilham, where they will merge onto the A252 and come out on the A251 at Challock.

Jeff Tutt says drivers will ignore the official diversions
Jeff Tutt says drivers will ignore the official diversions

The key road was shut for six weeks in 2018 to allow for the new roundabout to be installed at the entrance to the under-construction Perry Court housing development.

Its closure caused problems on roads surrounding the town, and Dunkirk parish council chairman Jeff Tutt expects similar traffic woes this time around.

“The A251 is a major road and 25 days is a long time,” he said.

“Drivers aren’t going to use the long diversion. They’ll want to avoid Brenley Corner. That then causes problems on the country routes.”

The A251 will be mostly empty come the end of the month, with no access through Badlesmere
The A251 will be mostly empty come the end of the month, with no access through Badlesmere

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