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M2 closure starts day later but 69-mile diversions still in place

By Rebecca Tuffin

A long stretch of the M2 is closed with motorists having to take a long diversion route.

The motorway shut between junction 7 at Brenley Corner and the junction 5 turn-off for Sittingbourne and Maidstone, London-bound at 8pm last night.

It is thought drivers will still be sent on a 69-mile diversion to Dover, along the A20 and back up the M20.

The M2 closure will now start a day later, but diversions will still be 69 miles long
The M2 closure will now start a day later, but diversions will still be 69 miles long

The road will be closed all day and reopen by 4.30am tomorrow morning.

Closures are for repairs and resurfacing of the road.

This follows thousands of drivers suffering hold-ups as long as six hours when the motorway was shut for resurfacing last weekend.

In a statement issued today, Highways England said: "Our work on the M2 was carefully planned and agreed in advance with partners across the county.

"Clearly, the first weekend of work caused more disruption than we were expecting, and we are very sorry for the delays that drivers experienced.

The diversion route is now 69 miles in length
The diversion route is now 69 miles in length

“We have worked hard to review our programme of work this week, and the changes we are making should make a real difference, reducing the length of the closure by at least 24 hours.

“As well as laying more than 2,000 tonnes of new road surface we are also using the opportunity to carry out other road maintenance, including litter picking, drainage work and sign maintenance, reducing the need for future roadworks.

“We will continue to keep the work under continual review and to make any changes needed to complete it successfully while keeping disruption to an absolute minimum.

"Delays are expected, and drivers are urged to plan ahead, check travel conditions before they set out, leave plenty of extra time and stick to the official diversion routes."

The M2 closures have also forced Stagecoach to cancel the first day of its new Canterbury to London service.

DIVERSION ROUTE

London-bound drivers will have to face a lengthy diversion route which now stands at 69 miles from Saturday night.

Last weekend's diversion along the A251, A252 to Charing, and the A20 has been ditched following Saturday's chaos.

Now, in what would normally be a 12-mile drive, motorists at Brenley Corner who cannot go up the M2, are advised to head coastbound on the A2 past Canterbury and Lydden.

The authority wants drivers to come off the A2 at Dover and make their way onto the A20, which leads onto the speed-and-lane-reduced M20.

Heading up to junction 7 of the M20, the lengthy diversion route then heads onto the A249 and finally to junction 5 for the M2 at Stockbury.

Avoid getting stuck on Kent's roads by keeping up-to-date on all of the latest traffic and travel news here or by following our live blog.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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