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Newington Parish Council

A2 Gas main replacement

Update ~ 31 October 2019

Following feedback received, SGN has advised that Mill Lane will be now be closed on Thursday 31 October from approximately 12 noon. A signed diversion route will be in place for motorists via Spade Lane, Meresborough Lane, Dane Lane, The Street, Hollow Lane and Lower Hartlip Hill. There will also be temporary traffic lights at the junction of Mill Lane with the A2 to carry out the necessary upgrades.

Update 29 October 2019

Following agreement from Kent County Council, SGN will continue to carry out network upgrades along the A2/ High Street, Newington.

To ensure everyone’s safety, temporary traffic lights remain in place on the A2 / London Road around the work area at the junction with Spade Lane.

From approximately 12 noon on Wednesday 30 October, SGN will need to temporarily close Mill Lane for approximately four weeks. A signed diversion route will be in place for motorists via Spade Lane, Meresborough Lane, Dane Lane, The Street, Hollow Lane and Lower Hartlip Hill. SGN will also have temporary traffic lights at the junction of Mill Lane with the A2 to carry out the necessary upgrades.

Commuters are encouraged to please plan ahead and allow extra time for your journey. Updates about the SGN project can be found on their dedicated page - SGN website.

SGN appreciates your understanding and patience while they carry out essential gas mains replacement work and they welcome any feedback or questions.

Update ~ 17 October 2019

Southern Gas Networks (SGN) is continuing to carry out network upgrades along the A2/ High Street, Newington. They will shortly be carrying out preparation work for when they move into Phase 2 of their project between Spade Lane to Mill Lane from Monday 21 October.

To ensure everyone’s safety, temporary traffic lights remain in place on the A2 / London Road around the work area. SGN manually controls their lights Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 7.30pm, and between 8am and 5pm on Saturdays. These lights will still be in operation outside of these times.

Oak Lane and Canterbury Lane will be fully reopened once phase one is completed. Wallbridge Lane will also resume two-way traffic flow.

From approximately 12 noon on Monday 21 October, Mill Lane will need to be temporarily closed for approximately four weeks. Signed diversion routes will be in place for motorists via Spade Lane, Meresborough Lane, Dane Lane, The Street, Hollow Lane and Lower Hartlip Hill.

Following consultation with Kent County Council and Medway Council, advanced warning signs can only be positioned on Kent County Council's geographical area.

SGN encourages all commuters to please plan ahead and allow extra time for their journey. Updates about the project can be found on SGN's dedicated web page.

SGN appreciates your understanding and patience while they carry out essential gas mains replacement work.

Update ~ 4 October 2019

SGN engineers continue to upgrade the gas pipe in London Road at its junction with Oak Lane, Hartlip Hill. For everyone’s safety around the site, temporary traffic lights remain in place around the work area.

In agreement with Kent County Council to keep everyone safe, a temporary 30mph speed limit is in place and traffic will be able to enter Oak Lane from London Road. Canterbury Lane will be closed and Wallbridge Lane made one way with a signed diversion in place. Vehicles heavier than 7.5 tons will not be permitted to use side roads.

Following consultation with Highways England and Medway, an alternative route will not be in place for HGVs and no permit scheme will be used at this stage. SGN has given assurances that it will continue to update local residents on the development of the work.

SGN appreciates everyone's understanding and patience while they carry out essential gas mains replacement work in the area. Latest updates on the project can be found on their dedicated website page- SGN Website

Update 24 September 2019

Details of the forthcoming upgrade to the gas network A2/ High Street, Newington.

SGN'S project involves the essential replacement of old metal gas mains with new plastic pipe to ensure a safe and reliable gas supply to the local area continues to be provided. SGN'S contractor, Forefront Utilities will be undertaking this work on their behalf.

In close consultation with Kent County Council, the project will start on Monday 30 September and last approximately 42 weeks.  4.5km of old gas mains underneath the A2 will be replaced, starting in London Road at its junction with Oak Lane, Hartlip Hill and progressing eastwards to Key Street Roundabout.

To keep everyone safe, there will be temporary traffic lights in place around the work area. The traffic lights will move as the work progresses eastwards along the road. The traffic lights will be manually controlled when the contractors are working to keep traffic flowing along the A2. The lights will be opereated Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 7.30pm, and between  8am and 5pm on Saturdays.

To help keep the traffic moving through the temporary traffic lights, there will be a signed diversion for HGVs throughout the project. HGVs will be diverted via the M2 to avoid the work completely. Local access for HGV deliveries will be maintained.

While the engineers are working close to Oak Lane and Mill Lane, these roads will be temporarily closed  at the junction with London Road. As soon as the work area has progressed safely past the junction, each side road will be fully reopened. Oak Lane will be closed from Monday 30 September for approximately four weeks to ensure everybody’s safety. Then Mill Lane will need to be closed and other side roads as the project progresses. Signed diversion routes will be in place for motorists.

SGN is continuing to plan the future phases of its work in consultation with Kent County Council and will provide details of their plans once confirmed.

SGN understands that people can get frustrated by roadworks. However, the new plastic pipe has a minimum lifespan of 80 years. This means that when the work is complete, local residents and businesses will continue to enjoy the benefits of a safe and reliable gas supply for years to come.

A map and updates on SGN's project can be found on their dedicated website page here.

Update ~ 23 September 2019

The A2 gas works planned to commence on 16 September were delayed until next year in order to provided sufficient time for all parties to carefully plan local traffic management and to address a number of concerns raised since the emergency works were carried out during the summer.

SGN has since reviewed the risk to the current gas supply and is concerned that there is a high likelihood that emergency works will occur along this stretch of gas main when the demand increases the pressure within the existing main on the A2 probably in the next few weeks.

In carefully considering the request from SGN for the works to commence on 30 September and recognising that an emergency response is likely to be highly impactive, KCC has agreed a number of key measures which must be put in place to reduce the impact on the local communities.

SGN will ensure that there is an HGV restriction on the A2 through a traffic regulation order in place for the total of the 42-week duration of the works. Local access for HGV deliveries will be managed by a local permit scheme and the details are currently being considered. A HGV diversion using the M2 will be in place and KCC will seek support from Kent Police and Highways England to support compliance of the HGV restriction and observance of the official diversion route and will also consider any other measures which may be appropriate.

KCC will place restrictions on local roads which have been identified as wholly unsuitable for any displaced traffic during the works and will sign roads which are not suitable for HGV access with appropriate signage should any HGVs access the local network in breach of the restriction. Width/weight restrictions will be placed as necessary on minor roads north of the A2, but these will need to allow access to properties/businesses on these roads.

Road closures will be considered as a last resort but consultation with affected residents/businesses on this will take place if these are thought to be required.

SGN has escalated their communications plan and will ensure close communication with key stakeholders and community points of contact including businesses. SGN will review their works progress weekly and ensure that communities are kept up to date with the progress of the works.

These measures should allow SGN to commence on phase 1 of their project to address the main at the Medway end up to the junction with Oak Lane/Spade Lane, Upchurch. Details of the diversion route will be released shortly.

KCC and SGN have increased resources to look at the traffic management plan for the remainder of the works and detailed plans will be communicated to affected communities including any identified options for local feedback.

Update ~ 4 September 2019

Southern Gas Networks has been advised that no planned works will be taking place on the A2 until next year. This will allow more time for the complex traffic management needs to be fully explored and addressed in a plan. SGN have made KCC Highways aware that some sections of the gas main may not survive the higher pressure demands of the autumn and may become emergencies.  All of the comments and suggestions from local residents and businesses will be fully explored as part of this process. The planning is unlikely to have any aspects for discussion for several weeks as the project managers investigate issues and design solutions.

KCC has agreed to delay the resurfacing of the A2 from Key Street to Upchurch until the SGN works are completed,