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Closure of A26 Tonbridge Road, Barming for sinkhole repairs to run into next week


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A road where a giant sinkhole opened in the carriageway will be closed for another week, prompting concerns about the impact it will have on back-to-school traffic.

The crater in Tonbridge Road, Barming appeared on Friday after South East Water was called to repair a burst main.

Tonbridge Road will be closed until November 5 while a sinkhole is filled in. Picture: Hawkeye Aerial Media
Tonbridge Road will be closed until November 5 while a sinkhole is filled in. Picture: Hawkeye Aerial Media

A road closure put in place between Queen's Road and Hambledon Court was initially expected to last six days, but has been extended until Friday, November 5.

In an email to a stakeholder seen by the KM, Kent County Council (KCC) said: "Please be advised due to ongoing investigation works from South East Water following a burst main, this closure has been extended until November 5, 2021."

Despite that, neither KCC nor South East Water have confirmed the extension publicly, however.

Bosses at NuVenture buses say they are finalising plans for next week given that the closure will now continue into the new school term.

However, co-owner of the company, Norman Kemp said all routes will be running as normal with the diversions in mind.

The closure is between Queen's Road and Hambledon Court
The closure is between Queen's Road and Hambledon Court

He said 'a route-by-route update with students' safety in mind' will be posted on Twitter tomorrow.

Maidstone borough councillor Ashley Kimmance (Lib Dem) for Heath ward said: "I have spoken to KCC and they assure me it was extended because they know that the works would go on for longer.

"It's a concern because schools are back and you have got West Borough Primary School off Cherry Orchard Way so it's going to cause confusion and traffic there.

"Hopefully the works can be completed under the time they have been given. I'm hoping and praying it won't go on too long.

"I know some schools have inset days at the beginning of next week so I'm hoping that's the case for schools near Tonbridge Road too because then it's only three days of disruption instead of five."

While repairs are underway, Cllr Kimmance is urging parents to find alternative means of dropping off and picking up their kids from school if at all possible.

The void is less than 500m from one which appeared in 2018 and took five months to repair.

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