In the south east region of the UK, approximately 44 miles from the centre of London, the bustling county of Kent provides a vital link for the Channel crossing into the rest of the UK. Home to the smallest town in Britain, by population, Fordwich near Canterbury can be accessed via the A2.
Kent has several motorways and wide-laned dual carriageways that span across this district. The M20 is one of Kent’s most frequently used motorways, spanning 52 miles. It acts as the main trade route for lorries moving from London to the Channel crossing at Folkstone or to the ferry port at Dover, via the extension of the A20.
Road history happens in Kent, in fact, the first motor show in Britain took places in Tunbridge Wells on October 15th 1895. Also, the white painted road markings that we see distinguishing lanes across the entire UK road network, were first painted in 1914 on the London to Folkestone Road in Ashford.
As Kent is a large county, covering a land area of 1,368 square miles, with towns, villages and cities covering the district, you can expect there to be traffic in Kent. Keep up to date with the Kent travel news by using the RAC Route Planner to help you avoid delays.
Worst Junctions in Kent
Neighbouring London, Kent’s sprawling road network covers a wide breadth of countryside and acts as a vital link not only for the local towns and cities, but for lorries and heavy-duty vehicles making trade deals in Calais. With the heavy traffic flow around Kent, some of the roads can become congested. Keep an eye on Kent’s traffic news for updates on any delays within the area. Here are some of the worst junctions in Kent to watch out for on your travels.
The exit from the A249 at Sittingbourne onto the M2 towards Canterbury is notoriously tricky due to its looping nature on and off a roundabout. Get to know this junction using the RAC Route Planner before you travel around it, to help you navigate and get in your lane early.
M25 junction 5 - The Chevening Interchange at junction 5 along the M25 is particularly problematic due to the complex nature of its design and the influx of traffic. As the M25 orbits Greater London, it makes the M25 one of the country’s busiest roads. With this, the junction can become overused especially during peak travel times. Plan ahead and make sure you’re aware of the exit before you reach the junction.
Tunbridge Wells A264 - Within most of Kent’s cities and large towns, such as Maidstone, Ashford and Canterbury, you can expect traffic to build up within the centre. One of the worst cases for delays is the A264, Tunbridge Wells junction. It connects several busy roads together including Calverley Road, leading to Royal Victoria Place shopping centre and Lansdowne Road which takes you to Dunorlan Park. Try to avoid this area in peak times to avoid long queues.
Accident Hotspots in Kent
With heavy traffic flowing through the motorways in Kent, there are bound to be some tricky junctions to navigate around. These are the most common accident blackspots in Kent you should be aware of. Plan your journey using the RAC Route Planner to help you keep on top of the local travel updates in Kent.
M20, Junction 11
With a major pit-stop for international drivers coming off the crossing via Folkestone, the M20’s junction 11 has been problematic in the past. This may be because the busy two-lane roundabout is too narrow for the amount of traffic it receives. Make sure you stay in your lane and know your exit before entering the junction.
M2, Junction 7
Brenley Corner on the A2 has seen a recent increase in the number of accidents within the area. This short intersection enters the bustling roundabout at the M2 junction 7. This roundabout can be extremely busy as it supports traffic from the north, south, east and west of the country. Take your time when navigating around the junction and indicate well in advance.
Within the city and surrounding villages in the Canterbury area, there has been a number of accidents with cyclists. As a popular cycling route for many two-wheel road users, make sure you’re checking your blind stop, leaving plenty of space and staying patient when travelling in and around Canterbury.
Upcoming Major Roadworks in Kent
Projects are in place to improve the overall conditions of the roads in Kent. But, although these plans will improve the functionality and safety of the roads, which is a positive thing, it will mean drivers may have to withstand an increase in congestion caused by roadworks. Do check the RAC Route Planner for regular travel updates to help you find an alternative route to minimise delays.
Upcoming major roadworks in Kent include:
M2, junction 5 - With the aim to improve congestion at the Stockbury Roundabout and onto the A249, the major scheme will replace the existing roundabout with a flyover interchange. This will help traffic move more freely across the two road networks. It’s set to begin in 2019/2020.
M20, junction 3 to junction 5 - Work is underway to improve conditions on the M20 between junction 3 and 5. Plans for a 6.5-mile stretch of smart motorway will hopefully improve congestion and is set to be finished in 2020.
Folkestone - Highway England is in talks with local police to find a solution to reduce congestion of the disruption to the Folkestone area when delays occur at the Channel crossing. No plans have been decided, so please check the Highways England website for any updates.