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Gridlock leads to call for link road upgrade

An accident that gridlocked the Island at rush hour has re-ignited calls for improvements to the eastern Sheppey link road.

The two-car smash, close to Wall End Cottages in Lower Road, Minster, happened just after 4pm on Friday and police closed the road at its junctions with Barton Hill Drive and the old Cowstead Corner roundabout.

All traffic coming on to the Island was diverted to Queenborough Corner and then through Halfway or Sheerness.

Firefighters were also called and cut off the roof of one of the vehicles.

A man was removed from the car and was treated by paramedics before being taken to Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, with a suspected neck injury.

Lower Road was reopened at 5.55pm.

MP Gordon Henderson said he wasn’t caught up in the traffic chaos himself, but added that it has been his long-term ambition to see a better road link between the A249 and the east end of the Island.

He said: “One way of achieving this would be to encourage the government to increase the size of the Sheppey Cluster, but with any expansion being conditional upon upgrading the current road link.

“If we could achieve this, it would not only provide more employment for local people, but it would help regenerate eastern Sheppey.

“I have already floated with ministers in the justice department the idea that when eventually the government needs to increase the country’s prison estate (as it will) it considers expanding the Sheppey Cluster, but emphasised to them the need to improve the Lower Road, because it is not good enough even for the existing traffic flow.

“I have the transport minister visiting the Island later this month and I intend raising with him the importance of upgrading the A250.”

He said that because of the country’s economic situation it is unlikely there will be any major improvement in the immediate future.

Mr Henderson added: “However, now is the time to get stakes in the ground so that when the public finances improve we are at the head of the queue of communities bidding for funding.”

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