Three weeks of roadworks on a key road are set to cause further traffic chaos.
Multi-way traffic lights have been put in place ready for repair work to be carried out by Cityfibre in Berengrave Lane in Rainham.
The works will last until October 13.
The road begins at Lower Rainham Road, and ends at Birling Avenue, which connects to the A2, so it is frequently used by drivers, particularly amid ongoing traffic chaos as two slip roads between the M2 and A249 are closed for four months of roadworks.
Sittingbourne's Junction 5 coast-bound entry and exit slip roads at the Stockbury roundabout were closed on Sunday September 11 and will remain shut until Friday, January 13 next year.
National Highways confirmed an 18-mile diversion which adds 11 miles to the normal route.
Although the coastbound entry diversion sends drivers to Junction 4 at Gillingham/Hempstead Valley, and the exit diversion sends drivers down Blue Bell Hill, onto the M20 and back up the A249 northbound, the A2 through Rainham and Sittingbourne has been badly affected by the closure.
John Willis, 61, from Rainham, said last week: "On Monday I decided to see how bad the A2 was and it was gridlocked just outside Rainham as far as I could see down the A2 towards Hartlip.
“Traffic was heavy with lots of stops to let cars pass, there were mobile roadworks as well.
“It’s clear that very little thought has gone into alternative routes to allow for the junction being closed and other routes have been allowed to be closed without any thought of the consequences.”
In a statement, National Highways said: “We’re doing everything we can to encourage drivers to stick to the approved diversions, which have been chosen to handle the flows of traffic experienced on the M2.
“The diversion routes used have been agreed with local authorities and the emergency services.
"They are clearly signposted using yellow and black signs, as well as VMS signs as far back as the M25.
“We have communicated this closure well in advance via our website, bulletins, resident letters, drop in clinics, and signs on the road.
“These closures will be monitored and reviewed if necessary.
“We appreciate that these roadworks may cause delays and disruption, and are grateful for people’s patience while we deliver this important upgrade at junction 5 on the M2.”
Alongside the M2 closure, matters were made worse yesterday when a burst water main caused Lower Rainham Road to be shut in both directions from Riverside Country Park to Eastcourt Lane for emergency repairs.
The closure, combined with an accident on Keycol Hill in Newington, caused long delays for drivers travelling from Medway to Sittingbourne on the A2 yesterday.
The road is now open but will be closed again tomorrow September 22, from 9.30am until 3pm for permanent reinstatement works.