Published: Friday, 23rd February 2024

The A228 Frindsbury Hill in Strood will be closed for 15 weeks from Monday, 11 March to allow for the completion of the new Maritime Academy.

The new multi-million pound secondary school, which is a Department for Education(DfE) organised and funded project, will provide more than 1,000 places and is anticipated to open its doors to pupils this September. This will not only help meet demand for secondary school places, but could also help reduce the distance of journeys to and from schools for local children.

The next phase of development work, which is essential if the school is to open on time, is the construction of the entrance along Frindsbury Hill.

Closing a short distance of the road is needed so the construction works can be completed safely. Medway Council liaised with contractors to reduce the original project duration by four weeks – from 19 to 15 weeks. 

The closure is necessary to enable a large number of enabling works to take place together at one time and includes widening of the existing carriageway as well as a new slip road into the academy to accommodate those who still need to commute to school. The pedestrian crossings in this area will also be renewed and new traffic signals will be installed, as part of safety measures being put in place. The road and footpaths will also be resurfaced and other work includes the redirection of utilities and drainage, new lamp columns and a new culvert.  

Other closure methods were considered and a partial closure would not be suitable – a trial run showed temporary signals resulted in increased congestion in the area, whereas a full closure would help prevent a build-up of traffic at the roundabout and allow construction works to be completed sooner.

Department for Education organised and funded project

Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Strategic Regeneration, said: “This is a Department for Education (DfE) organised and funded project, and unfortunately, in this case, a full road closure is the only option left to us by the DfE if the new Maritime Academy School is to open on time. The school is essential if we are to keep providing the best education facilities, with adequate capacity, for children in the area.

“A complete closure of a main road is always a last resort and we apologise for the impact on the whole community and all those who use this route for work, school and to access the peninsula.

“When we became aware of the impact the project would have on our residents, we arranged for the duration to be reduced by four weeks. We have also written to the DfE to request that the duration of the project is reduced even further.

 “We recognise the frustration that is felt by local people but this is a complex project involving many different streams of work and it is better to do this all at once rather than in a piecemeal way. We will continue to work with residents and businesses to mitigate the impact of construction, and we are liaising regularly with contractors to ensure construction time is kept to a minimum.”

Details of road closure

Frindsbury Hill will be closed from The Sans Pareil roundabout to Brickfield View, between Monday, 11 March and Friday, 21 June.

Traffic will still be able to travel around the Sans Pareil roundabout, as well as on both carriageways on Berwick Way and Wulfere Way, and use Medway City Estate if they wish to head towards Strood, with the option to use Canal Road to exit the estate.

Drivers in Strood heading towards the peninsula will be able to use several alternative routes alongside the formal agreed diversion route.

To further mitigate congestion, no planned works will be permitted to take place in the near vicinity.

Cllr Curry added: “Contrary to rumours circulating on social media, the works on Frindsbury Hill will not be starting before 11 March. We are conscious of the impact this closure will have on residents and commuters, and to avoid longer closures than necessary we have imposed roadwork restrictions before the closure; this means no other planned roadworks, including by utility companies, can take place in the Frindsbury area until 11 March.”

Medway Council will continue to provide regular updates to residents and businesses in the area. For more information on the works, along with diversions and bus diversions, visit:

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