After eight weeks of traffic chaos and a slump in trade for retailers, the Sea Street roundabout works have finally been completed. There are now hopes that motorists will no longer have to suffer the terrible potholes which blighted the road surface there. At first we reported the road rage being caused by the confusing signs and diversions as access roads were blocked, sending drivers round the bend. Then came the news that the site lay deserted as workmen had been diverted to “other more important jobs”, sparking anger from traders suffering a sharp loss of passing trade. Following an apology from county councillors Brian MacDowall and Nick Bond (UKIP), works progressed and last week were completed on time.
The idea for the scheme was the top priority for Cllr MacDowall and Cllr Bond when they were first elected in May 2013. The pair committed £100,000 of their KCC project budgets to fix the bumpy road, while KCC contributed a further £70,000. Cllr MacDowall told the Gazette that work needed to be done properly to ensure the road would not have to face continual repairs in future. He said:
“The new surface is a considerable improvement and should provide drivers with a much better road that will last for many years. The project has not been without its problems, notably the apparent lack of hours being worked. It will be reviewed to prevent a repeat performance in future. It was also complicated by the repairs needed to the utilities that run under the excavation. But I’m delighted that the work has been finished on time. No one disagreed that the repairs weren’t needed. We chose excavation rather than simple resurfacing as there had been problems with flooding there in the winter. We would have liked to have committed to repairing all of Sea Street, but sadly KCC is umier considerable budget restraints at the moment. I would however ask readers their thoughts on where they think the worst road is, and where is in most urgent need of repair. I would be pleased to hear from them.”
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Herne Bay Gazette, July 3rd 2014