Busy stretch of Kent M20 and M26 to see closure this weekend as part of NEAR rollout

Closures will take place on the M20 between Junctions 2 and 6
-Credit: (Image: Google Maps)

A series of overnight closures will be taking place on the M20 this weekend as part of the continued National Emergency Area Retrofit (NEAR) programme. In an effort to improve safety along our motorways, National Highways has undertaken a scheme to deliver over 50 new emergency areas in the south east.

Four such emergency areas are to be installed along the M20 between Junctions 3 and 5. Multiple closures of the M20 are scheduled this weekend for preparation works between Junction 2, for the A20 and Brands Hatch, and Junction 6 for Blue Bell Hill.

This is to allow for the necessary traffic management systems to be installed, which will remain in place while the new emergency areas are created. On Saturday, June 22 the westbound carriageway will close in full between Junction 6 and Junction 2, including to Junction 2a of the M26, from 8pm to 6am for pre-setting and planning works.

Read more: Buses to replace trains in major Kent towns this weekend

Read more: Dartford Crossing bridge set to close again this weekend

Then on Sunday, June 23 both directions of the M20 will close between Junction 2 and Junction 6 from 8pm to 6am, as will the M26 between Junction 2A and the M20. Finally, the M20 will close in both directions once more between Junctions 2 and 6 overnight on Monday, June 24 from 8pm to 6am the following morning, as well as the M26 between Junction 2A and the M20 again.

While this stretch of the M20 is shut, works will be undertaken to close off lane one of both carriageways using temporary markings and barriers. These lanes will stay closed throughout the installation of the new emergency areas, while lanes two to four will remain open with a 50mph speed limit in place.

A spokesperson for National Highways added: “Temporary CCTV cameras will monitor the carriageway and 24-hour free recovery will be in operation. Some of the new emergency areas (EAs) are quite close together, so we're keeping the inside lane closed from one EA to the next as it reduces lane changes, helps keep traffic flowing and ultimately reduces the risk of any incidents.”

Works to create nine new emergency areas on the M25 between Junctions 5 and 7 have already been completed. Further information on the NEAR rollout in Kent can be found here.

Never get stuck in a jam again with our FREE traffic and travel email for KentLive readers. Find out more here.