Calls for urgent review of roadworks that ’caused chaos’

There have been calls for an urgent review of roadworks that are “causing chaos” for city commuters, parents and businesses.

Parts of Lower Rainham Road in Rainham are closed until next Sunday, July 9th, while CityFibre installs new internet cables.

Lower Rainham Road in Rainham is part of an area facing road closures over the coming months. Image: Google StreetView

The closures have caused traffic to halt on other roads on multiple occasions as drivers seek alternative routes, but it’s likely to get worse when SGN, a gas infrastructure company, also begins work in the coming days in the Wakeley Road area. .

Three Conservative ward councilors in the district said they had received “hundreds of messages, emails and phone calls from residents, businesses, schools and community groups” all concerned about the length of the base trip through Rainham now.

They say at peak times, traffic on the A2 returns through town all the way to the Bowaters roundabout.

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Cllrs Kwashie Anang, George Prefect and Wayne Spring have written to Medway Council cabinet member for highways, Cllr Simon Curry (Lab), calling for an urgent review of roadworks – ahead of next week’s chaos.

Cllr Anang said: “We appreciate the importance of the CityFibre project. However the diversion, risk mitigation and working hours all need to be reviewed as soon as possible.

Cllrs Kwashie Anang and George Perfect

“There is also a need to review other upcoming road improvements.”

Councilors said that as a result of the gridlock, children were showing up late for school, businesses saw missed appointments, deliveries to gas stations were missed and footfall at the Rainham Shopping Center was reduced.

One of the problems is that there are allegedly confusing or missing diversion signs which often result in motorists ending up on inappropriate small roads.

Cllr Perfect said: “Motorists are doing everything they can to try to get from A to B, rather than sitting in the constant traffic jams they find themselves in now.”

The Lower Rainham Road works are part of a scheduled closure that will last until October which will include Lower Bloors Lane and Pump Lane, as CityFibre undertakes a £40 million project to bring faster internet to Medway.

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The closure has been going on for a week.

Station Road resident Kara Maplesden said: “It took me just over an hour to get from Rainham to my work in Brompton, which is usually a 15-minute journey along Lower Rainham Road.

“I also witnessed a horrific scene early in the morning, parents with small children trying to cross the bottom of Station Road, impatient drivers bobbing each other between parked cars.”

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One resident, Wez Rossiter, called Rainham “Officially the world’s largest car park”.

CityFibre has not responded to requests for comment on the latest situation.

Previously corporate partnerships manager for Medway, Adrian Smith, said: “As part of this important digital infrastructure work, we were required to enforce a lockdown on Lower Rainham Road, between the Berengrave Lane intersection and the Motney Way intersection, for two weeks from 26 June.

“Our work will then continue in the surrounding area over the coming months as we gradually deploy our full fiber network as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“Our team will always be happy to remove barriers for resident access when requested and whether it is safe to do so.”

In response to criticism that road closures should not be allowed during school terms, Medway Council’s traffic management team said: “We usually only allow main road closures during school holidays, but unfortunately, due to the duration requested by City Fiber, we have had to allow some work during school holidays. school years, otherwise it would have taken CityFibre two years to install their network in Rainham.”

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