Published: 16:55, 16 October 2020
| Updated: 09:13, 19 October 2020
A driver has been left in a difficult situation after his work van was written off in a crash he claims was caused by dangerous A2 road works.
Concrete barriers erected along the Gravesend East coastbound carriageway were scrapped overnight this week after angry motorists complained the shortened eastbound slip road had become a "death trap" .
Drivers complained of a spate of near misses in which vehicles were given little time and room to speed up and manoeuvre onto the motorway from the abridged junction.
Now Gravesend motorist Jack Everson has hit out at the short-sighted scheme after his vehicle was scrapped following a crash on Monday morning around 8.15am, before the barrier's removal the next day.
The 28-year-old, of Echo Square, had been driving to work in wet conditions along Valley Drive before joining the slip road onto the A2.
He said: "The truck in front of me hesitated to merge and slammed on his brakes and because of the rain I was unable to stop in time.
"The trouble is he didn't stop at the end of the slip road. He stopped halfway before he could have gone out."
"He [the lorry driver] got out apologising but to insurers it’s my fault," he added.
Jack escaped the incident unscathed but says his van was wrecked and has since been scrapped.
As he waited on the roadside for recovery he said he witnessed at least two or three more near misses following a similar pattern to what he had just encountered.
But he says what frustrated him further was discussions with traffic management officers at the scene who logged the incident.
"The thing I'm most annoyed about is the guy said it should not have even been put out in the first place," Jack said.
"They should have just closed it and it probably would have been safer."
"The thing I'm most annoyed about is the guy said it should not have even been put out in the first place,"
It has posed additional problems for the self-employed electrician, who now fears he will be unable to afford a replacement for work once his courtesy vehicle is returned.
He added: "I live five minutes down the road and I have been driving that way for 10 years and this was the first crash I have ever had."
Jack is not the first motorist to hit out at the now scrapped scheme after another resident encountered a similar issue over the weekend and pledged to avoid the route until it was fixed.
Gravesham councillor Bob Lane said there had been numerous near-miss incidents reported over the past week, leading to several complaints to Highways England.
He spoke with highways bosses to raise these concerns and was told they had "suspended the works and were going to remove the barrier pending a rethink".
The concrete barrier, which was installed by an independent third-party traffic management company, was removed during an overnight closure which took place on Tuesday night.
Highways England said before it was put in place a design layout was produced, risk assessed and submitted for review and approval.
A spokesman for the road authority said: "A traffic management system was put in place on the A2 at Valley Drive to safely allow Highways England to carry out essential utilities surveys near to the proposed route for the Lower Thames Crossing.
"The system installed was compliant with industry standards, however following careful monitoring of its performance we have now removed it and returned the road to three lanes while we explore alternative ways of carrying out the crucial surveys."