Published: 20:47, 03 June 2020
| Updated: 21:16, 03 June 2020
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.
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.
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.
More by this authorCharlie Harman