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Disruption expected in Hermitage Lane, Maidstone and SGN carries out work to upgrade gas network

Drivers in Maidstone are facing weeks of disruption while work is carried out to upgrade the gas network in Hermitage Lane.

The road is already notorious for its traffic congestion and there could be more woe ahead next month as engineers prepare to install temporary traffic lights and close the exit from an adjacent street.

An aerial image gives a glimpse of the traffic on the A20 and feeding into Hermitage Lane, next to the site in Aylesford, earmarked for housing
An aerial image gives a glimpse of the traffic on the A20 and feeding into Hermitage Lane, next to the site in Aylesford, earmarked for housing

The signals will be put in place for three weeks from Monday, February 17, as gas distrubution company SGN works between the road's junctions with Oakapple Lane and Marigold Way.

They will be manually controlled between 7am and 7pm to keep traffic flowing.

As well as the installation of the lights, bosses say they will also need to temporarily close Marigold Way westbound at its junction with the main road.

This means drivers will not be able to exit and will instead need to follow a signed diversion via Marigold Way and Tarragon Road.

Motorists will, however, continue to have access into Marigold Way from Hermitage Lane and pedestrian access will be maintained throughout, SGN insists.

The diversion (blue) drivers will have to take due to SGN's gas works on Hermitage Lane, compared to the usual journey (red)
The diversion (blue) drivers will have to take due to SGN's gas works on Hermitage Lane, compared to the usual journey (red)

News of the works comes as two local MPs recently joined forces to ask the government to review a contentious plan to build more than 800 homes on land bordering Hermitage Lane and the A20 London Road.

Helen Grant, who represents Maidstone and the Weald, said further development at this part of the road would be "unconscionable", while neighbouring Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch said constituents had told her they were "enormously worried about the impact this development will have on the already creaking infrastructure".

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