Published: 00:01, 06 December 2018
Lorries and other vehicles are to be banned from stopping to load and unload during rush-hour to improve traffic flow on the Medway City Estate.
The move by Medway Council, which will be brought in from the New Year, follows calls for urgent action to battle increasingly lengthy traffic jams blighting companies and staff on the estate.
Business leaders have warned the problem could have a crippling affect on businesses, while the 6,000 people employed on the estate will be praying the new rules will do something to ease the daily nightmare.
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The council now says that following feedback from consultation an "Experimental Traffic Regulation Order" will be put in place on Anthony’s Way to prevent vehicles from stopping to load and unload during rush hour.
There are already parking restrictions in place on Anthony’s Way preventing vehicles from parking on double yellow lines at any time and between the hours of 7am to 9.30am and 3.30pm to 6.30pm on single yellow lines, from Monday to Saturday.
The loading restrictions, which will be implemented from Monday, January 14 2019, will mirror the hours of the existing parking restrictions and will be trialled for 18 months.
The council is inviting the public to formally make any objections or observations during the fist six months, and has already contacted all businesses fronting the new loading restrictions on Medway City Estate.
Michael Edwards, Medway Council’s Head of Integrated Transport, said: “We are keen to do all we can to help improve journey times for those working on Medway City Estate.
"Although, many of the roads on the estate are privately owned by the original developers, we do have control over Anthony’s Way.
"Parking restrictions are already in place on Anthony’s Way, but during the consultations a number of concerns related to lorries blocking part of the road.
"Following the feedback, we have put plans in place to trial new restrictions which prevent lorries from loading or unloading on Anthony’s Way during rush-hour.
"We will be monitoring the effect of the new restrictions, but we would also be keen to hear from those who travel to and from Medway City Estate during the first six months.
“Although we are limited on what else we can do to help alleviate traffic, we are exploring other options in addition to existing traffic measures.
"The traffic signals at the westbound entrance to Medway Tunnel, which holds traffic on A289, continue to be used and do have some impact on improving traffic flow on and off the estate.
"Motorists are also able to sign-up to live traffic alerts to stay up-to-date on delays, as well as view our CCTV cameras which show the roads around the estate.”
Amanda Hurrell, sales co-ordinator with Cambridge Research Systems in Sir Thomas Longley Road has been among those pushing for improvements.
"It's good news," she said. "I'm glad they've actually done something. It feels like a step in the right direction."
But she added: "This isn't going to solve it over night.
"This is going to help a little bit - it will keep to lanes clear to the exit - but they need to monitor the camera and they need to switch the temporary traffic lights on, but they're reluctant to because they want to keep other areas moving."
She also said there needed to be a dedicated slip lane from the estate to the A289, and that measures needed to be enforced sooner than the planned date.
"It's something but we're not going to let up," she added.
To sign-up to the traffic alerts and to view the CCTV cameras, visit www.medway.gov.uk/cityestate