Short cut saves time but costs money for some

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Nick Cullen

WITH the ring road works well un­der way, some mo­torists are be­ing tempted to try and get round traf­fic bar­ri­ers.

Nowhere is this more in ev­i­dence than at the Shell garage on the junc­tion of Som­er­set Road and Can­ter­bury Road, which has un­wit­tingly added the pro­vi­sion of a con­ve­nient short cut to its usual ser­vices.

Af­ter weeks watch­ing pedes­tri­ans tak­ing cover as mo­torists try to avoid an­other cir­cuit of the town, spe­cial con­sta­ble Ash­ley Heath­cote de­cided enough was enough.

He has be­come a familiar sight in his lu­mi­nous jacket as he waits by the road­works to check mo­torists cut­ting through the garage fore­court.

And for some, the prospect of 10 min­utes saved rapidly be­comes a £60 fine.

The of­fi­cer said cut­ting through the fore­court is not tech­ni­cally il­le­gal, as it is a pub­lic right of way.

He said: “I’ve been check­ing ve­hi­cles over as they come through, us­ing the op­por­tu­nity to check for in­sur­ance.

“I do sym­pa­thise with peo­ple, but that doesn’t mean you can ter­rify pedes­tri­ans.”

It also seems his pres­ence has knock on ben­e­fits for busi­ness, as mo­torists spot him and sud­denly re­mem­ber they have an im­por­tant item to buy in the garage shop.

Con­struc­tion work on the ring road this week will see the nar­row­ing of Sta­tion Road to two lanes dur­ing the day.

From 7pm to 6am, un­til Satur­day, Sta­tion Road will be down to one lane at the El­wick Road junc­tion with pos­si­ble diver­sions around Beaver Road round­about or through Church Road.

Spe­cial con­sta­ble Ash­ley Heath­cote stop­ping cars out­side the Shell garage in Can­ter­bury Road

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