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A2 lay-by closures may drive lorries on to village roads near Dover

By Dover Express  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

By Kathy Bailes

IN THE DARK:  Cllr Nigel Collor fears lorries could end up in villages and Whitfield business park when the Highways Agency closes lay-bys along a stretch of the A2 and remove some lighting

IN THE DARK: Cllr Nigel Collor fears lorries could end up in villages and Whitfield business park when the Highways Agency closes lay-bys along a stretch of the A2 and remove some lighting

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HIGHWAYS Agency plans to remove lighting and close lay-bys along stretches of the A2 will result in lorries being parked up on industrial estates and village roads, says district councillor Nigel Collor.

At meetings with Dover District Council, Kent County Council, Kent Highways and Kent Police, the agency has revealed its intention to replace lights and columns around the Lydden Hill and Singledge Lane junction areas.

New bulbs are to be installed where Coldred Hill and Church Road cross the A2 but lights will be removed from the soon-to-be closed lay-bys where many drivers park up their HGVs.

Cllr Collor says the move has the potential to result in lorries clogging up areas such as the Whitfield business park and roads in surrounding villages.

He said: "Where will all these displaced vehicles go? DDC, KCC, Kent Highways and Kent Police, all voiced reservations to the suggestion. Works are scheduled to start around January 7, although some activity may be evident a few days before.

"The Highways Agency now says it will monitor where the displaced lorries go to park and we know that all lay-bys between Dover and Brenley Corner are full during the night time.

"But the Highways Agency, was unable to tell me how they were going to monitor it.

"Local people are not anti-lorry as they bring work to the area and provide the trading link with the Continent but we do not want to see these displaced HGVs finding their way into our villages and the narrow roads serving them."

Cllr Collor is now urging parish councils and residents to keep tabs on where lorries are ending up so that problems can be taken up with the agency and government Department for Transport.

He said: "Without doubt, it will be up to all of us, to monitor this."

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said the lay-bys would be out of use for an 18-month trial.

He said: "The whole lighting on that stretch has come to the end of its life.

"Part of the new process is evaluating what we still need.

"We are evaluating the requirements for lay-bys, where there are existing lay-bys and where we need them. As part of that there is a trial of up to 18 months where we will close them down.

"We will monitor what the requirements are."

The Highways Agency spokesman said monitoring of lay-bys is already in place from Brenley Corner along the A2 to Dover and on the A20 between the M20 and Dover.

He added: "We are working with partners such as KCC and local councils who can provide information if lorries end up off our roads because that's where the local expertise is.

"We will also look at traffic data from DHB."

Contact Councillor Collor at cllrnigelcollor@dover.gov.uk

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