Published: 13:46, 10 January 2019
| Updated: 13:47, 10 January 2019
Long-awaited work to upgrade one of the roundabouts at a junction of the M2 is set to start next month - but will bring with it a raft of closures on surrounding roads.
Brenley Corner at junction 7 of the motorway could be shut for two weekends as waterproofing and surfacing works take place on the pothole-ridden bridge decks of the roundabout, which is among the 50 worst accident blackspots in the country.
From February 23, four toucan crossings will also be installed or upgraded at the junction, which is met by the A2, M2 and A299 Thanet Way.
It is hoped the project will be complete before the end of March - and particularly March 29, when Britain is set to leave the EU.
But road chiefs say the work is heavily dependent on the weather, with wet or cold spells likely to delay the delivery programme.
Specific details of dates and road closures have yet to be released, but Highways England has applied for a traffic restriction order.
It allows for the closure of both carriageways of the A2 between Faversham and Thanington, as well as the A299 and M2 where they meet the junction.
Two weekend closures have been predicted, along with overnight working between 2am to 6am.
If the project is delayed by the weather, it is likely to be moved to the first quarter of the new financial year.
Faversham MP Helen Whately says such an eventuality is unacceptable and has called for the work to be completed as soon as possible.
“We need Brenley Corner to be ready for Brexit,” she said.
“If there are delays at Dover and queues on the M20, more traffic will use the M2.
“There’s not enough time for Brenley Corner to be rebuilt, but at the very least the road surface needs to be in a decent state.
“Some of the worst potholes have been temporarily filled in but the bridge sections still haven’t been dealt with - and it’s been months. As well as damaging vehicles, there’s extra risk of accidents when drivers swerve to avoid the worst bits.
“Starting work at the end of February is too late - especially as it could then be delayed by bad weather or roadworks elsewhere.
“We really need a completely new junction at Brenley Corner, but in the short term Highways England must do the best they can with the junction we have.”
Mrs Whately has also raised concerns about the impact of the £6.8 billion Lower Thames Crossing, which is set to be up and running by 2027.
She fears the road will push more vehicles onto the network “downstream” from the Dartford Crossing.
For more information about the scheduled works visit www.highwaysengland.co.uk or call 0300 1235000.