Congestion On Kings Hill - Update From Liberty Property Trust

Published: 02 August 2019

We have received the following update from Liberty Property Trust with regard to the congestion on Kings Hill:

We very much appreciate how frustrating the current road closures in and around Kings Hill are to both residents and businesses. We are all experiencing them too, so have every sympathy with those trying to get to and from work and home.

Unfortunately, the disruption caused by the SGN works is being exacerbated by the additional works requiring temporary traffic lights at the Gibson Drive entrance to Kings Hill – both of which have been sanctioned by KCC Highways.

As you are aware on the first day of closures (Monday) SGN, who are undertaking the works causing the closure on the A228, had not installed adequate signage to ensure HGVs and other through vehicles were made aware in good time that there was a closure in place, despite having committed to do so. We understand that this signage is now in place, and therefore hope, over the coming days, through traffic and HGVs will be more aware and start to use the approved diversion routes in place (i.e. not through Kings Hill).

You may have seen reports on KM Online that the residents of West Malling are really suffering from through traffic due to diversions for the M20 works. This is why we are trying our best to prevent through traffic using Kings Hill and have diversions in place.

Currently we have closed Kings Hill Avenue to prevent it being misused - specifically to prevent heavy through traffic using Kings Hill as a rat run, and for health and safety reasons.

Travelling around Kings Hill is also easy on foot and by bike, so where possible we would encourage people not to use their cars for short journeys. We would also encourage employers to revisit the Kings Hill green travel plan, provided to all businesses, and encourage other modes of transport, including lift sharing. Where possible if people are able to work flexibly and arrive or leave, earlier and later this will undoubtedly help, although we fully understand that this is not possible for all businesses.

Again, we believe a lot of the issues are unfortunately being exacerbated by the temporary traffic lights at the Gibson Drive entrance – unfortunately we do not have any control over these works which are on the adopted highway. We have raised this issue with Kent County Council and understand there was an issue with the sequencing which should now have been resolved. They will be requesting SGN place an additional ‘spotter’ so there will then be someone at each end of the lights, in contact with each other, to switch them manually if queues get too long. However, if you have concerns, please contact Kent County Council directly on 03000 418181 or email them StreetworksMid@kent.gov.uk.

We will of course continue to monitor the situation on a day by day basis.