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Highways England agree to finish M20 smart motorway roadworks earlier on weekday mornings

By Luke May

Overnight roadworks on the M20 will end earlier each morning during the week, Highways England has vowed.

Four MPs whose constituencies fall within the smart motorway project have been fighting to stop roadworks finishing at 6am on weekdays, after the closures caused chaos on surrounding roads.

Now Highways England has pledged to end closures between Junction 3 for Borough Green and Junction 5 for Aylesford at 4.30am instead.

Part of the M20 is being transformed into a smart motorway. Stock picture. (6740738)
Part of the M20 is being transformed into a smart motorway. Stock picture. (6740738)

Tom Tugendhat, Tracey Crouch, Helen Grant and Helen Whately first wrote to Highways England in November.

The next stage of the £92million project will see gantry installations take place this month, sparking concerns of further disruption.

Peter Mumford, director of major projects wrote to Mr Tugendhat to allay fears.

He wrote: "The gantry installations have now been scheduled and I can confirm that shorter closures will be undertaken during the week while installation activities which require a longer closure will take place on Friday and Saturday nights only.

"For the forthcoming planned midweek road closures, work will start at 10pm with a re-opening time of 4.30am. The closures that are taking place on Friday and Saturday nights will have a re-opening time of 6am."

This week the London-bound entry slip at Junction 4, Leybourne, is shut from 8pm to 4.30am so gantries can be installed. It will be shut until 6am on Saturday morning.

On Saturday there will be a full closure of the London-bound entry slip and coastbound exit slip at Junction 5 for Aylesford from 8pm to 6am.

Mr Tugendhat said: "I am delighted that Highways England have, finally, agreed to our request to re-open the motorway at 4.30am on weekday mornings. This allows early morning traffic to set off on time, without delay, and will reduce congestion at rush hours.

"Many bus companies and schools have shared our concerns, and I am delighted Highways England has listened. I’ll be pushing now for a 4.30am re-opening time to be implemented throughout the works.”

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