Ashford A2070 roadworks are due to start this week with the start of the Orbital Park roundabout project

Nine months of work to replace Ashford’s Orbital Park roundabout with traffic lights are due to start this week – and the project is dividing opinion across the city.

As part of the project on Bad Munstereifel Road, the Avocet Way junction which leads to the Finberry housing estate will be upgraded, allowing drivers to turn right onto the A2070 for the first time.

Traffic lights will replace the Orbital Park roundabout on the A2070

Although the prospect of new road works is not welcome, those who live and work in Finberry believe the changes are desperately needed and worth it.

Anna Lockyer and Claire Oakley, who run takeaway van Caffeine and Fizz, say they are delighted that access is improved.

They said, “We are really pleased with the road works as they will make access to Finberry much easier for residents and our customers.

“We think disruption is kept to a minimum and the staff on site are really friendly and approachable.”

Roxy Tuohy agreed, saying she was “excited to have it done”.

Anna Lockyer and Claire Oakley, owners of Caffeine and Fizz (55058775)
Anna Lockyer and Claire Oakley, owners of Caffeine and Fizz (55058775)

“It’s going to be a nightmare, but we need to find a better way in and out of Finberry,” she added.

The ‘Bellamy Gurner’ project was due to start last year, but a ‘Christmas roadworks embargo’ delayed the project.

Seen as a way to improve traffic flow in the area, plans for the project surfaced in the early 2000s.

Workers from FM Conway, the company in charge of the construction, have made modifications to land on the dual carriageway in recent months, but will start on the road itself this week.

Bosses say the majority of the work should be completed by September, but a ‘high-friction surfacing’ aimed at improving grip will be laid in October.

What The Bellamy Gurner Project Will Look Like
What The Bellamy Gurner Project Will Look Like

Commenting on the Kentish Express Facebook page, Trevor Lewis, who uses the route to get to work, said he was not a fan of the project.

“This is going to lead to longer queues than we already have to put up with between 8am and 9am and between 4pm and 6pm,” he said.

“I travel this way Monday to Friday to do my job and it’s a nightmare now.”

Phil Lewis said: “In France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, something like that would take three weeks maximum.”

Peter Littlejohn added: “It’s flowing well so far.

Homebuilder Crest Nicholson, who is funding the Bellamy Gurner project, is behind the Finberry estate.  Photo: Ady Kerry/Ashford Borough Council
Homebuilder Crest Nicholson, who is funding the Bellamy Gurner project, is behind the Finberry estate. Photo: Ady Kerry/Ashford Borough Council

“Traffic lights will only stop traffic and cause chaos.”

Juliet Wirt said: ‘Access to the truck stop should be moved to the Junction 10a roundabout.

“Or why didn’t they when other road works had been going on for the past few years and we were already suffering from daily queues.”

Matt Harris said: “Traffic is quite smooth with a roundabout. This will aggravate the circulation. »

The Orbital Park McDonald's is next to the roundabout
The Orbital Park McDonald’s is next to the roundabout

However, Ashford MP Damian Green believes the road cannot be left as it is.

“Road works like this are always very annoying while they are happening, but in this case they are needed in the long run, especially for people who buy houses in Finberry and various other people who do road works in and out of the region,” he said.

“If we continued with the network we have now, there would be much worse problems.”

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