Medway Council spent a few million quid over the last year or so to turn the one way ring road round Chatham town center into a two way partial ring road. The idea being to lift the “concrete collar” around the town. I first wrote about it here.
It’s only a partial ring road as the section which would make it complete was closed to traffic other than buses and taxis last year. The plan was to knock it down and put a bus station on the land it would free up. This upset a few businesses and the council has now decided to reopen the flyover to traffic though for how long has still to be decided.
A couple of weeks ago a local newspaper reported the council as saying the changes introduced were about opening up access to the riverside rather than road improvements. Whilst they are right that they have not improved traffic flow they have also done nothing to open up the riverside. The concrete collar is still there. The town in no more accessible than it ever was. Traffic just goes both ways. If anything because loads of extra road signals have been put up and two way traffic it is now takes longer and is perhaps more hazardous to cross the ring road on foot and into town than it was before.
Workmen burning away road markings on the flyover in preparation of its reopening.
The benefits of the whole exercise are difficult to see if there are any at all. Now the flyover is being reopened it all appears to be even more of a waste of money.
The council has been irresponsible, arrogant and reckless. The plans were poorly thought out and the implementation badly timed. They say they have consulted with the public and listened to whats been said.