The second phase of Spirit of Sittingbourne roadworks in Sittingbourne town centre will be complete by October 22nd, it has been announced today.
The work which it was hoped would be finished by the time the kids went back to school in September was delayed. The Spirit of Sittingbourne have told us that the completion date is slightly later than anticipated due to additional works required outside the control of contractors, including the removal of a structurally unsafe wall within the site.
The completion of the second phase will see the opening of the newly realigned A2 and the opening of the taxi rank outside of Sittingbourne train station. It is suggested that this will deliver improved traffic and pedestrian flow in the town centre.
Personally, I remain highly sceptical that the change from roundabout to multiple sets of traffic lights will result in any improvements.
As part of the completion of the phase two works, Station Street will permanently close to vehicle traffic at the northern end. By this they mean that the section of Station Street from the A2 to the end of the parade of shops will become a dead end.
The roadworks are part of the Spirit of Sittingbourne scheme, which will provide hundreds of new jobs and brand new retail offerings to the town, including Nandos, Pizza Express and The Light Cinema.
Commenting, a Spirit of Sittingbourne spokesperson said:
“We apologise for the slight delay in the completion of the second phase of the roadworks."
“Local residents will understandably be frustrated with any additional delay incurred."
“The decision was taken because our foremost concern is the safety of road users and delivering a high quality of works."
“We now expect KCC sign off to reopen the newly realigned A2 and complete the second phase of roadworks, by October 22nd, as we continue with the Spirit of Sittingbourne regeneration programme which now moves to the construction of the landmark leisure quarter, recently named by the public as Bourne Place."
“In the meantime, we remind residents that businesses in the high street and The Forum remain open for business, as they have throughout this summer’s roadworks.”
Lets not forget that there are still two more phases of roadworks to go, albeit of a much smaller scale.