Calm bypass before it became the M20
The Folkestone to Ashford section opened in 1982/3 with the Ashford to Maidstone section opening in May 1991 but who remembers the Ashford section between the
It may cause aggravation when it is congested but, whether we like it or not, the M20 gets us from A to B more often in less time than the old A-roads.
As years pass though, I feel that the roads – in particular motorways – get more and more dangerous and in the last few years there have been a large number of accidents. A20 at Willesborough (now Junction 10) and the A20 at Maidstone Road (now Junction 9)
The Ashford section which was formerly the old Ashford Bypass opened in 1957 and this week’s recently discovered selection shows just how much calmer things were in the days before the motorway was built, thus linking Ashford with the big bad world of motoring.
The pictures date from 1957 and September 1973 show ?a barely recognisable road
compared with today.
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Ashford Bypass, 1973: Barely recognisable today, this view was taken at the top of Hythe Road where the motorway now stands at the infamous Junction 10. The former dwellings at Lacton Way which were compulsorily purchased for the motorway can be seen on the right, with The Street, Willesborough, on the left. The Tesco supermarket on the former site of ‘Crooksfoot’ a beautiful detached dwelling which was blighted by the motorway, stands beyond the trees on the right today.
Ashford Bypass, 1957: A far cry from the heavily used road we know today, here we can see the first driver to use the Ashford Bypass complete with ‘L’ plates being presented with a gift. The picture was taken at the point of the Willesborough Windmill and shows local people congregating for the happy event. The opening was conducted by then Transport Minister Harold Watkinson MP. Were you there? Please get in touch!