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Queues at Maidstone's Hart Street McDonald's drive-thru prevent residents reaching homes

Residents have taken to social media to air their frustration after queues of fast food fans blocked their route home.

The McDonald's branch in Hart Street, Maidstone, reopened its drive-thru today, prompting multiple complaints about congestion and litter in the area.

Queues of cars have been seen around the Hart Street McDonald's in Maidstone. Picture: @Jodes_ox
Queues of cars have been seen around the Hart Street McDonald's in Maidstone. Picture: @Jodes_ox

The road is off Maidstone's one-way system and is the only way of accessing hundreds of homes near the Lockmeadow complex.

Twitter user @Jodes_ox addressed a message to Kent Police and Kent County Council, writing: "Nice to see @McDonalds reopening has just meant I can’t get in or out of where I live and rubbish has already been left.

"Great idea guys, great idea... surely something needs to be done to keep roads clear to the hospital?!"

Another resident tweeted police, saying: "I live on Hart Street in Maidstone and can’t get in or out of Hart Street due to the tailbacks for the @McDonalds on Tonbridge Road/Broadway. Are you going to do something about this?"

Concerns had been raised about the potential for queues from the Hart Street branch, combined with congestion caused by the reopening of the Aylesford branch in Hermitage Lane, to block two of the main access routes to Maidstone hospital.

Litter has already returned to Maidstone's streets. Picture: @Jodes_ox
Litter has already returned to Maidstone's streets. Picture: @Jodes_ox

In response, McDonald's employed marshalls at its Aylesford branch to manage traffic, while security was also brought in at Hart Street.

A spokesman for McDonald’s said: “We are clear that if it is deemed necessary to close the restaurant if queues do cause serious disruption we are prepared to do so.”

The Maidstone location was one of several Kent stores to relaunch its drive-thru today, with Ashford's Eureka Park and Orbital Park branches welcoming customers for the first time since March.

Branches at Westwood Cross and Minster Services in Thanet, Sevenoaks, also dusted off the cobwebs today alongside Bromley's Garden Gate and Hastings Road stores and Canterbury's Stour Retail Park outlet.

As McDonald's starts to reopen its drive-thrus in phases, similar issues have been experienced across Kent.

One of the first branches to restart operations, Strood, saw wait times upwards of 45 minutes - even for drivers not aiming to get a Big Mac and chips.

Demand is inevitably high, prompting McDonald's managers - including at the Whitfield site - to work closely with police to handle the vehicles.

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