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Overnight closure on the M26 will cause 'chaos'

By Luke May

An MP is "demanding answers" over a planned motorway closure stretching across three months.

Fears have been raised over plans to close the M26 overnight until the week of Christmas.

An MP said the move will cause "chaos" - and concerns were ramped up further when Kent County Council Highways wrongly tweeted the motorway was to be closed overnight from November 19 until March 29 - the day Britain leaves the EU.

Junction three of the M20, turning off for the M26
Junction three of the M20, turning off for the M26

However, Highways England confirmed today the motorway will close overnight next week and again from November 19 to December 21.

The 9.8 mile motorway connects the M20 to the M25.

Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat has kept up criticism of the closure.

He said: "It will cause chaos in the area, with villages like Borough Green and Platt already suffering significant traffic problems. These closures on the M26 have come without warning or consultation and are unacceptable.

"I am demanding answers from the Department for Transport and Highways England."

Tom Tugendhat is "demanding answers" over the planned closure
Tom Tugendhat is "demanding answers" over the planned closure

The overnight closure will start from Monday to Friday next week, lasting from 10pm to 5.30am.

It will start again on Monday, November 19, closing from 10pm to 5am.

During the month of works to December 21, the motorway will remain open during the day and will not close overnight on weekends.

The closures have been booked in to allow Highways England to carry out work on the central reservation.

Instead of using junction five of the M25 at Sevenoaks, traffic will be diverted to junction three for Swanley, connecting to the A20.

Earlier this year there were suggestions from government the M26 could be used as a lorry holding area, if delays build at Calais and Dover.

Mr Tugendhat has maintained opposition against the proposal.

He said: "When use of the M26 was first suggested as an alternative to Operation Stack, I made it clear it was an unworkable solution. I wrote to the Transport Secretary and met the Roads Minister back in the Spring to tell them this.

"In May, I was assured in person by the government that the M26 was not being used.

"As recently as last week, I had a phone call with Highways England about alternatives to Operation Stack where they told me they had no plans to use the M26.

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