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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
Campaign to save flyover steps up
Vehicles on the Sir John Hawkins flyover
The closure of the flyover led to confusion on two-way switch day
An action group has started a campaign urging people not to vote for the Medway Conservatives, to help save their town's flyover.

Diane Turner, of Turners of Medway, said Chatham's flyover would be demolished if the party retained its majority in the May elections.

Her group, Chatham Regeneration Action Group (CRAG), has paid for posters and leaflets to get their point across.

But the party said it had started a public consultation about the issue.

'Failed to communicate'

Diane Turner said: "If they [the Conservative Party] are re-elected on May 3 they will close the flyover and it will be demolished. We need the flyover, it is part of the ring road.

"If you come to the council meetings and see the way Medway Council is run by the Conservatives I think that anybody that voted conservatives would definitely change their mind, and I have voted Conservative since the day I was able to vote."

But Conservative Councillor Rodney Chambers, who is leader of Medway Council, said: "The system that has been put in place is not the complete system, it is phase one.

"I think that we have failed to get that communicated to the community.

"Having said that... my colleagues and I have decided that we shall review part of the framework, the development brief, and will go out and re-consult people.

Problems to traders

When asked on BBC Radio Kent whether the party would demolish the flyover if the party kept its majority, he said: "I can't give that commitment because that is part of the consultation."

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.

Councillor Paul Goodwin, Medway Council Labour group leader, said: "We give an absolute commitment that we won't knock down the flyover.

"I think that the real issue is that the flyover [being closed] has actually removed part of the loop and that has caused lots of the problems to traders and residents a like."

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, councillor Geoff Juby, said: "I think we will try and leave it as it is and experiment with two-way traffic over the flyover.

"I agreed with Paul Goodwin that the flyover is the missing link of actually getting the traffic to move around."


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