Published: 10:23, 26 February 2021
| Updated: 10:51, 26 February 2021
Motorists will be hit with two-and-a-half months of road closures this spring as Faversham’s busiest junction gets a major overhaul.
Three-way traffic lights are to be installed at the notorious convergence of the A251 and A2 as part of a £1.6 million scheme to improve safety.
Work on the project has already begun, but from April until mid-June, a 420-metre section of the A251 will need to be closed to all traffic.
The key route in and out of the town will be shut between the fire station and the new roundabout for Aldi and Premier Inn to allow for earthworks and utility diversions prior to the installation of the lights.
Its closure means disrupted motorists wanting to head from Faversham towards Ashford will need to go up to Brenley Corner and down the M2 to Junction 6 before getting back on their intended route along the A251.
The work will run from April 5 until June 18.
Kent County Council, which is behind the scheme, says access to the fire station and to residential properties will be maintained at all times, with gatemen on site at both ends of the closure 24/7.
The authority approved the junction redevelopment last autumn after considering a number of options, including installing a roundabout, but the traffic light system was the favoured proposal.
It is recognised that the current configuration is operating over capacity and resulting in “serious levels of congestion and delay” which are “harming the economic wellbeing of the town”.
Queues build up and drivers are left in no man’s land when attempting to cross the A2, but KCC is hoping its overhaul will alleviate the gridlock.
As part of the work, the A251 is to be widened and part of the verge will be removed to accommodate an additional lane which would filter traffic turning left onto the A2.
The southern side of the A2 is also to be widened to provide an additional lane on the approach to the lights.
This is envisaged to allow traffic to turn left onto the A251 or continue straight along the A2.
The three sets of signals would include two on the A2 - one set heading eastbound, one set heading westbound - and a third on the A251.
A signalised pedestrian crossing is also to be installed to bolster safety for walkers.
KCC says the redesign will “improve access to Faversham, alleviating the current constraint on housing and commercial development”.
In what is already the town’s biggest pinch point, it is in the south-eastern area of Faversham where thousands of extra homes are set to be built in the coming years.
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