1,000 de­mand lights to ease grid­lock at junc­tion

Shop­pers, res­i­dents and work­ers join plea for bet­ter ac­cess

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Curry House Fire - By Ai­dan Bar­low

Cam­paign­ers have called for a meet­ing with trans­port chiefs af­ter their pe­ti­tion call­ing for new traf­fic lights at a busy junc­tion passed 1,000 sig­na­tures.

Shop­pers, res­i­dents and work­ers have com­plained about the grid­lock they ex­pe­ri­ence try­ing to en­ter and exit the Ash­ford Re­tail Park at Bar­rey Road, Sev­ing­ton.

The road is also the main ac­cess point for work­ers in the Foster Road in­dus­trial units and for res­i­dents liv­ing in the south­ern end of the High­field Es­tate in Willes­bor­ough.

But the pop­u­lar­ity of the re­tail park, which boasts stores such as B&M Bar­gains, Dunelm Mill, and Ar­gos, has added to the prob­lems for mo­torists on the A2070 with mo­torists fac­ing hour-long de­lays try­ing to leave the site.

In March se­cu­rity firm boss Re­taina­group’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Wendy Rowe set up an on­line pe­ti­tion and said her work­ers were “ter­ri­fied” of the junc­tion which forces mo­torists to pull out into traf­fic trav­el­ling at speeds of 70mph along the dual car­riage­way.

It fol­lowed a pe­ti­tion the pre­vi­ous year launched by county coun­cil­lor and cur­rent Ash­ford Mayor Ge­orge Koowa­ree.

High­ways Eng­land bosses had pre­vi­ously ruled out traf­fic lights along the dual car­riage­way due to safety fears, but said a new speed limit of 40mph is be­ing con­sid­ered.

As part of the over­all strat­egy around the new £70 mil­lion junc- tion 10a scheme a new slip road could also be con­sid­ered for the re­tail, in­dus­trial and hous­ing es­tate.

But now cam­paign­ers say a so­lu­tion to the prob­lem needs to be found be­fore the es­ti­mated 2019 com­ple­tion date for the new road lay­out.

South Willes­bor­ough ward Cllr David Smith says he has called on coun­cil of­fi­cer Richard Alder­ton to ar­range a face-to-face meet­ing with High­ways Eng­land to get a so­lu­tion sooner.

He said: “It’s im­por­tant for all of us who use the A2070. I’m not happy about com­ing out of that junc­tion.”

‘I’m not happy about com­ing out of that junc­tion’

Wendy Rowe is cam­paign­ing for traf­fic lights at the Bar­rey Road junc­tion for Sev­ing­ton busi­ness park

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