Week­end clo­sures planned as Bren­ley road­works pen­cilled in

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Front Page - By Marijke Hall [email protected]­m­group.co.uk

Long-awaited work to up­grade Bren­ley cor­ner round­about is set to start next month - but will bring with it a raft of clo­sures on sur­round­ing roads.

The busy junc­tion could be shut for two week­ends as wa­ter­proof­ing and sur­fac­ing works take place on the pot­hole-rid­den bridge decks of the round­about, which is among the 50 worst ac­ci­dent blackspots in the coun­try.

From Fe­bru­ary 23, four tou­can cross­ings will also be in­stalled or up­graded at the junc­tion, which is met by the A2, M2 and A299 Thanet Way.

It is hoped the project will be com­plete be­fore the end of March - and par­tic­u­larly March 29, when Bri­tain is set to leave the EU.

But road chiefs say the work is heav­ily de­pen­dent on the weather, with wet or cold spells likely to de­lay the de­liv­ery pro­gramme.

Spe­cific de­tails of dates and road clo­sures have yet to be re­leased, but High­ways Eng­land has ap­plied for a traf­fic re­stric­tion or­der.

It al­lows for the clo­sure of both car­riage­ways of the A2 be­tween Faver­sham and Than­ing­ton, as well as the A299 and M2 where they meet the junc­tion.

Two week­end clo­sures have been pre­dicted, along with overnight work­ing be­tween 2am to 6am.

If the project is de­layed by the weather, it is likely to be moved to the first quar­ter of the new fi­nan­cial year.

Faver­sham MP He­len Whately says such an even­tu­al­ity is un­ac­cept­able and has called for the work to be com­pleted as soon as pos­si­ble.

“We need Bren­ley Cor­ner to be ready for Brexit,” she said.

“If there are de­lays at Dover and queues on the M20, more traf­fic will use the M2.

“There’s not enough time for Bren­ley Cor­ner to be re­built, but at the very least the road sur­face needs to be in a de­cent state.

“Some of the worst pot­holes have been tem­po­rar­ily filled in but the bridge sec­tions still haven’t been dealt with - and it’s been months. As well as dam­ag­ing ve­hi­cles, there’s ex­tra risk of ac­ci­dents when driv­ers swerve to avoid the worst bits.

“Start­ing work at the end of Fe­bru­ary is too late - es­pe­cially as it could then be de­layed by bad weather or road­works else­where.

“We re­ally need a com­pletely new junc­tion at Bren­ley Cor­ner, but in the short term High­ways Eng­land must do the best they can with the junc­tion we have.”

Mrs Whately has also raised con­cerns about the im­pact of the £6.8 bil­lion Lower Thames Cr­soss­ing, which is set to be up and run­ning by 2027. She fears the road will push more ve­hi­cles onto the net­work “down­stream” from the Dart­ford Cross­ing.

n What do you think? Email ken­[email protected]­m­group. co.uk.

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