Widening wel­come but 50 years over­due

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News -

It’s mid-July and al­ready tem­pers are frayed over the clo­sure of Ken­ning­ton Road, Willes­bor­ough for its lon­gover­due ‘widening’. Due for com­ple­tion in the first week of Septem­ber 2017, many have de­scribed their an­noy­ance and in­con­ve­nience at sit­ting in grid­locked traf­fic which is be­ing di­verted to un­der­take the works be­tween Black­wall Road North, Willes­bor­ough and the Gi­vau­dan site. There is also a huge ca­pac­ity of traf­fic us­ing the town cen­tre it­self as the di­ver­sion with oth­ers join­ing the M20 at junc­tion 9 coast­bound and ex­it­ing at junc­tion 10 to con­tinue their jour­ney. When Batch­e­lors Foods opened in 1957, the sub­stan­tial fac­tory site had its own rail sid­ings, hence their in­com­ing and out­go­ing de­liv­er­ies went on the rail­way, util­is­ing rail con­tain­ers known as Pal­van’s. Pro­pri­etary Per­fumes (now Gi­vau­dan) came along in the early 1960s.

When the rail in­fra­struc­ture at this key Ash­ford site was phased out it is then that Kent County Coun­cil should have up­graded this road, to­gether with its no­to­ri­ous pinch-point to ac­com­mo­date the ever- in­creas­ing num­ber of ve­hi­cles on the road. This would have been sen­si­ble rather than make the town wait over 50 years, dur­ing which time new roads link­ing Ken­ning­ton Road such as the M20 have been built. De­spite the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of the con­trac­tor tasked with the road widening works, scores of res­i­dents and read­ers have ques­tioned whether the road will still be wide enough. One lo­cal res­i­dent felt that land should have been com­pul­so­rily pur­chased to move the foot­path over, and also widen the bridge to straighten the road out.

Whilst there are mixed views and opin­ions as to whether the widening will sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove the is­sues at Ken­ning­ton Road, I am qui­etly con­fi­dent that any im­prove­ment is bet­ter than none – pro­vided it doesn’t in­con­ve­nience the peo­ple of Ash­ford for much longer.

Have you any pho­to­graphs or slides that you would be will­ing to lend me to be scanned and fea­tured in the Ken­tish Ex­press? Write to me: Steve Sal­ter, Ken­tish Ex­press Re­mem­ber When, Unit 4, Park Mall Shop­ping Cen­tre, Ash­ford, TN24 8RY. E-mail me: re­mem­ber­when_k­mash@ hot­mail.co.uk or fol­low me on Twit­ter @SteveKMAsh­ford.

Or you can also leave a tele­phone mes­sage for me with brief de­tails by call­ing 01233 623232.

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