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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007, 10:59 GMT
Calls to save Chatham's flyover
Vehicles on the Sir John Hawkins flyover
The closure of the flyover led to confusion on two-way switch day
Businesses in a Kent town are bidding to stop their council demolishing a flyover as part of road changes.

Chatham's one-way system became a two-way ring road in September, but there have been complaints it has hit trade and increased journey times.

Phase two of the changes this year is set to include the demolition of the Sir John Hawkins flyover.

Worried traders, supported by Labour councillors, will present their case at a council meeting on Thursday night.

The flyover was closed to all vehicles except buses, taxis and bicycles when Conservative-run Medway Council implemented the two-way road switch.

Town regeneration

But councillor Bill Esterson, a Labour member who is supporting traders who have experienced losses, said: "I support the calls to re-open the flyover as it is clear the new road system does not work."

Mr Esterson is leading a petition against the planned demolition, which has been signed by about 6,000 people.

Councillor Jane Chitty, the council's portfolio holder for strategic development and economic growth, said: "I think the flyover will have to go, but there are a lot of people who are very supportive of that.

"What it actually does is open up the area [of Chatham] that is absolutely critical for regeneration."

But Mr Esterson argued the Tories should listen to traders and residents, who "have some great ideas for the redevelopment".


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