Hollingbourne Parish Council has pressed Kent County Council for a traffic management scheme at Hollingbourne Corner on the A20 in order to reduce the morning traffic jams through the Eyhorne Street Conservation Area. Traffic jams at Hollingbourne Corner may become worse due to the proposed development at Junction 8 of the M20 at Woodcut Farm on the A20, the fact that more houses are bring built in the area, and because Operation Stack on the M20 from Junction 8 may become a regular event after Brexit. This is because traffic delays at Dover caused by the withdrawal from the European Transit Convention which will increase Customs clearance times from an average of two minutes per vehicle to twenty. The lack of a Leeds Langley bypass also means that more traffic is using the Leeds Castle and Hollingbourne Corner roundabouts.
Local County Councillor Shellina Prendergast has received the following response from KCC Highways:
I have spoken to the Traffic and Network Solutions Asset Manager to get his view on this request.
He has advised that there would need to be a detailed study commissioned to determine the scale and frequency of the congestion issue which would allow options to be considered. Traffic signals would not be an appropriate solution with the existing road layout as the roundabout is too small to signalise, and is close to the B2163 junction. It would likely be necessary to convert the roundabouts to priority junctions in order for signals to be a viable option but this would be a very expensive exercise.
Any traffic signals would need to be full time as part time operation is not viable due to safety concerns during switch on or off and is not an option we would consider further. Signals cannot be used to “gate” traffic upstream in order to provide opportunities for vehicles to leave Eyhorne Street unimpeded – they must control conflicting traffic movements at the junction. Modelling of the design and timings would need to be undertaken on queue lengths for all approaches and the impact on adjacent junctions. The A20 queues could be considerable and potentially affect the M20 at Junction 8 during peak periods which would be a significant safety issue. As the A20 is a strategic route (particularly during Operation Stack) it will need to have the vast majority of green time. This may exacerbate the queuing from Hollingbourne as there will be limited green time for traffic leaving the village. It would also be necessary to signal control the exit from the Hotel as part of the design.
It mainly comes down to funding and unfortunately at this time, there is no budget for any changes at this location. As you know, we will continue to monitor and I will let you know if anything changes.
Mrs Jennie Watson
Schemes Project Manager | Highways, Transportation & Waste | Kent County Council | Ashford Highway Depot, Henwood Industrial Estate, 4 Javelin Way, Ashford, TN24 8AD | 03000 41 81 81 |www.kent.gov.uk/highways
Pictured below is a typical morning traffic queue in Eyhorne Street down to Hollingbourne Corner.