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Aylesford: Station level crossing barrier failure causes delays on Station Road and between Forstal Road and M20 J6

By Claire McWethy

Drivers reported long delays following a level crossing failure in Aylesford.

Queues began to form on Forstal Road between the M20 J6 for Chatham and the railway line because of the problem, and on Station Road from the A20.

It happened at around 8.15am.

Traffic queueing in Aylesford due to the level crossing being down. Stock image
Traffic queueing in Aylesford due to the level crossing being down. Stock image

Network Rail say the barriers were stuck, but that engineers had taken manual control on-site by 8.45am.

Commuters were advised to use an alternative route but by 9.30am the delays had cleared.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We’re really sorry about the delays people have endured in Aylesford this morning.

"This level crossing is very busy with cars at the best of times and our signallers do everything they can to keep the barriers up as long as possible.

"Unfortunately we had a problem with the system this morning that meant we couldn’t raise the level crossing barriers once they came down.

"Level crossings “fail safe” when anything goes wrong with them, which is best for safety but unfortunately also delays traffic."

The level crossing at Station Road, Aylesford
The level crossing at Station Road, Aylesford

It comes after the Kent Messenger revealed last week that long waits at the crossing, caused by freight trains bound for London being diverted along the line, could persist for some time.

It means the barriers are down for prolonged periods, causing gridlock during the day, while engineers work to fix a bridge in Lewisham - the route the trains usually take.

But contractors don’t yet have a date for completion of the works.

Three years ago Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch started a campaign to leave the barriers up for longer.

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