This is the latest update on the SGN gas works in New Hythe Lane. I have spoken with KCC and SGN officers. KCC is still awaiting a reply from KPMG on whether they will allow Bellingham Way, which they own, to be re-opened temporarily during the works. Even if they do so, it will be at drivers' own risk so all drivers will need to check whether their car insurance will cover them if they use this private road.
Cllr Trudy Dean will update Bulletin readers as new information becomes available. If you would like to sign up to Trudy's email bulletin send an email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
County Councillor for West Malling, East Malling & Larkfield
SGN is on track to complete phase one of their work and reopen the section of New Hythe Lane between the A20 and Morrisons’ car park by Monday 14 August.
They are aware that some drivers are not adhering to the signed diversion via Leybourne Way and the A228. Instead, drivers are instead using Bell Lane as a shortcut through to the leisure centre, Tesco and the M20. Not only is this causing traffic jams along Bell Lane, but there are safety concerns as some vehicles are mounting the pavement. Along with SGN, I would urge drivers to keep to the signed diversion to ensure the safety of yourselves, fellow motorists and pedestrians.
SGN is in discussion with Kent County Council to see whether it’s possible to merge the second and third phases to further prevent Bell Lane being used as a cut through. This would mean that from Monday 14 August, New Hythe Lane would be closed between Morrison’s car park and Laburnum Drive. This also means that there would be no access to New Hythe Lane from Laburnum Drive from that point, two weeks’ earlier than planned.
SGN hope to receive confirmation from KCC regarding the change in phasing within the next few days. They will then update their website (sgn.co.uk) and share this information with me. In the meantime, SGN will look to improve signage in Bell Lane, New Hythe Lane and Lunsford Lane.
SGN has assured me that they’re committed to completing their upgrade of the gas network as quickly and safely as possible. In support of that, I have urged KCC to grant permission for the merging of phase 2 and 3 on safety grounds. I have also contacted Amazon to ask them to instruct their drivers to avoid hold ups by using A228 not New Hythe Lane, Lunsford Lane or Bell Lane for the next four weeks.