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Newspaper Columns

KM Column - Early Morning Delays on M20 - 22 November 2018

Over the last few years the traffic, and congestion, on the M20 has been steadily increasingly. This has got worse recently by the introduction of the M20 Smart Motorway works. It’s great that the finished road will have four lanes to handle more traffic, and warning signs will keep traffic moving more smoothly, the process to get there is causing serious problems.

Sadly, as you will know, this problem has been made worse over the last few weeks by the overnight road closures which don’t finish until 6am. This is making the morning rush hour traffic unbearable. Lately my inbox has been full of parents, commuters, and many other road users, telling me they have been stuck in traffic, late for school and work, or even missed important trips due to this.

That is why I’ve teamed up with neighbouring MPs Helen Whately, Tracey Crouch and Helen Grant to ask Highways England to rethink their scheduled morning closure times. The disruption that these roadworks are causing, coupled with works on the M2 in Medway, and local works in Kings Hill, and Leeds, is making the use of this road unbearable. It’s important the works are done as quickly as possible, but our communities can’t tolerate this level of interruption throughout the works. That is why we have asked Highways England to end the roadworks at 4.30am instead, for the remainder of the scheme.

Stopping the works earlier in the morning will give traffic time to re-adjust so that school children and workers are far more likely to get to their destination on time.

Until we find a solution to this problem, it is clear that the area around the M20 is going to continue suffering, and that is simply not good enough.

Georgie Welford