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Traffic delays not enough to warrant £350k roundabout at Barton Hill Drive and Lower Road, Minster

Kent Highways has admitted it is unlikely a roundabout will be installed at a busy junction due to funding – despite a request from the Swale Joint Transportation Board (JTB).

It has also been revealed that although it was widely thought developer Bovis Homes was supposed to have built one where Lower Road meets Barton Hill Drive in Minster when building work started – this was actually never the case.

The authority has said there was never an arrangement for the firm to provide one – the legal agreement with the planning permission in 1996 was that they would install traffic signals.

A roundabout is "unlikely" at Barton Hill Drive's junction with Lower Road
A roundabout is "unlikely" at Barton Hill Drive's junction with Lower Road

Elliott Jayes, who has lived in Thistle Walk for four years, has been liaising with Kent County Council’s (KCC) cabinet member for transport David Brazier about the issue – which has come under the spotlight recently after changes to the traffic signals were proposed.

The authority had suggested changing the lights at the junction so vehicles cannot turn right into Barton Hill Drive from Lower Road to try to ease the congestion which can reach back to the A249.

But this was dismissed at a JTB meeting last month in favour of fighting for a roundabout, which is it estimated would cost about £350,000.

In his exchange with Mr Brazier, dad-of-two Mr Jayes has been told that as funding is very limited, it is concentrated on sites where there is a ‘poor safety history’ and although they do receive complaints about delays in the area, it doesn’t have a ‘crash problem’.

He has branded it ‘a joke’ and says it’s appalling it will take an accident to happen before anything is done.

The 25-year-old said: “[An accident] is going to happen at some point. At the moment it adds about 20 minutes to people’s journeys every day – a roundabout is the answer.”

Mr Brazier did say if more development was to be proposed, the additional volume of traffic would be assessed and a roundabout could be justified in future.

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