Roadworks are ‘a nightmare’ for bus drivers and passengers
It’s getting worse, not better, says company boss as pupils are delayed by gridlock
Bus companies say town centre roadworks are causing “nightmare” delays for passengers and school children.
Scotland and Bates has reported that buses taking pupils from Ashford to Homewood in Tenterden are left stuck trying to turn left at the Singleton roundabout.
Company boss Georgina Bates says the situation has been getting worse.
She said: “It’s an absolute nightmare, it’s just the sheer volume of traffic using the roads, they are not designed for it.
“The roadworks are causing major problems and people are getting fed up with what’s happening in town. It seems to be getting worse not better.
“Our coaches to Homewood are queueing along Brookfield Road as far as the Murco garage.
“Our drivers have never had to queue in Knoll Lane, but now it is every morning, as traffic in Tithe Barn Lane queues to turn right into the A28, not left to go Company boss Georgina Bates, of Scotland and Bates to Tenterden. People are taking the long way round to go via Matalan.
“KCC said there would be minimal disruption, but I don’t think that’s fair to say.”
Her concerns have been echoed by Stagecoach, which runs the majority of bus routes, including 25 buses per hour which either stop at the Designer Outlet in Kimberley Way or Asda or go past it. Stagecoach communications officer Matthew Maytum said drivers were experiencing delays along the route.
A post on the company website stated: “Due to upgrade works to the traffic lights and lanes in and around Station Road, Ashford we are seeing some heavy delays to services. Temporary lights and lane closures are in place which is having an effect on our ability to run buses on time.
“Some services will be diverting between Asda and the town centre via Beaver Road to avoid the tailbacks.
“We regret the delays this will cause, but no stops will be missed in the diversion route which is designed to avoid the traffic.”
Have you or your child been affected by the traffic delays? Contact our newsroom on 01233 895801 or email kentishexpress@ thekmgroup.co.uk The work around Station Road and Elwick Road is to improve pedestrian crossings and to widen the road. KCC Highways say the work is due to be completed by December.
Cabinet member Cllr Matthew Balfour said: “This work will improve traffic flow in the area, something we think is important considering the many developments being delivered in Ashford town centre.
“I appreciate there will be some disruption but there will be no changes to the speed restrictions or any road closures.
“We have asked our contractor to work extended hours to reduce the construction duration and will continue to work closely with them to identify any areas where efficiencies can be achieved wherever possible.”