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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 18:23 GMT
Traders get Chatham two-way hope
A driver goes the wrong way on Globe Lane
Police helped confused drivers on the two-way switchover day
Complaints of lost business which followed the launch of a two-way road system in a Kent town centre have led to proposed changes being considered.

Traders in Chatham said the two-way ring road has meant less passing trade since it came into force in September.

Now Medway Council is to consult on opening access onto Medway Street from Globe Lane.

The council said its figures showed the road system had been "generally working well for motorists and traders alike".

But it acknowledged the complaints of lost trade and said there would be a six-week public consultation on the calls for changes.

50% less trade

"We are always willing to sit down and listen to people's views," said Councillor Phil Filmer.

"If the consultation shows widespread support then we could open the road [Medway Street, from Globe Lane] as early as January 2007."

People whose businesses have seen losses raised a petition for changes to the two-way system.

Many small independent traders around the High Street and Medway Street claimed passing trade had dropped by as much as 50%.

But the council argued that traffic was "flowing more smoothly than ever before", while use of town centre car parks was "almost back to the levels [from] before roadworks started".

The two-way traffic system is designed to aid the regeneration of Chatham town centre.


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