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A249 at Bobbing to remain closed ahead of tests

The Sheppey-bound A249 is to remain closed for the "foreseeable future" says Highways England.

A section of the dual carriageway between Key Street at Sittingbourne and Bobbing has been shut off since Monday, January 11, after a burst water main.

The emergence of a sink hole that goes under the slip road has delayed its reopening.

The gaping hole under the road
The gaping hole under the road

Highways England says it is still waiting for results of a survey to reveal the full extent of the damage caused by water from the burst main.

It says another survey is due to be carried out on Tuesday and no work will happen at the weekend.

In a letter to MP Gordon Henderson, Arvind Patel, of Highways England, said: "We expect to receive a report on Friday, January 29, in respect of all the investigations that have been carried out to determine what repairs are necessary.

"We will then set a timeframe which will take into account what work is required and how long the work will take.

Work being carried out on the A249
Work being carried out on the A249

"The road will remain closed for a foreseeable future until we are satisfied that it can be reopened safely."

Mr Henderson has written to Transport Minister Andrew Jones and described the closure as a "real crisis" and a matter that needed "urgent attention".

He said Mr Jones had promised to contact Highways England and make sure repairs were carried out as soon as possible.

In an email sent today, following the news of the continuing delay, Mr Henderson told Mr Jones: "A further survey will be undertaken next Tuesday, but I fail to see why that survey cannot be undertaken immediately.

Gordon Henderson
Gordon Henderson

"You will see also that no work is proposed over this weekend and that no timeframe for repairs will be decided until after a report on the investigation is received next Friday.

"That means at least another week of roads chaos in my constituency. Why will the report take that long to deliver?"

Mr Henderson also questioned why alternatives for managing traffic, such as a contraflow on the southbound carriageway or opening up one Sheppey-bound lane, had not been put in place.

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