Original article from Kent Live
Every time a popular video of it appears on social media, residents pile in to reminisce and give their views on whether it was a good thing or not.
Driver's eye footage from the 90s shows a traffic system favoured in a number of towns and cities in Britain at the time.
Vehicles travel on a one-way system at times three and four lanes wide.
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It allowed for fewer traffic light junctions, as cars simply got into the right lane when they needed to turn off.
Even the council people in charge of replacing it acknowledged that it was popular with motorists.
But they also said pedestrians were not so enthusiastic.
Calling it a "love-hate relationship", a Kent County Council report about the schemes replacing it noted: "Our research of opinions had shown that motorists by and large loved the ring road, although often complaining of congestion, but pedestrians hated it and the barrier it created between them and their town centre."
Fast forward to today, however, and social media gives a slightly different impression of the love-hate split.
It seems a majority want the old ring road to return.
"That's when Ashford traffic used to flow nicely without a billion traffic lights," said one resident on the popular Facebook group Ashford Read All About It.
"It should never have been changed," said another. "Worked so much better and quicker as one way! It’s a joke now."
There were a few voices on the other side of the debate too.
"I don’t like all the traffic lights, but at least the ring road is no longer a race track with all the wannabe F1 drivers," said one.
Another: "Ashford's ring road was originally built too small. So, whatever they do to it, it's still a problem.
"It's actually an example of how not to build a ring road somewhere."
Whatever people's views, when it came to dismantling the scheme, one new section gained particular attention.
Implemented in November 2008, a "shared space" concept first developed in Europe saw an area created for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike to "share".
There are no kerbs, traffic lights or road markings.
At the time, TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson likened it to "doing away with bolts in the scaffolding on a building site in the hope the labourers walk around a bit more carefully."
Plenty of local residents thought it was a dangerous idea too.
But the data has never supported them.
As of 2016 not a single fatal accident had been reported, and there were fewer accidents overall compared to a similar time period before the scheme.
In fact, such has been its success, Jeremy Clarkson has since apologised and several other places have adopted similar schemes, including Kensington High Street in London.
Yet the grumbling in the background continues.
Every few months, the subject of the old ring road comes up again, and an apparent majority of residents furiously tap away at their keyboards to demand its return.
We therefore thought it would be remiss not to look at how the replacement road system is working today.
This is what we found
The first thing to note is the abundance of traffic lights, as others have pointed out.
There is a particularly complicated one in front of the Express House on Park Street, where cars seemed to be kept waiting for an eternity.
A similarly long wait took place at the end of Elwick Road near the railway station.
There was also a constant long line of traffic in one direction on the new shared space scheme, along Somerset Road heading towards the multi-storey car park.
Of course it's difficult to gauge how much this was down to the new road system, or an increase in the volume of traffic.
The shared space scheme itself seemed to work pretty well.
It was easy enough to drive down, and the paving and landscaping makes it more aesthetically pleasing than most roads.
The only issue was when I parked and walked up and down to take a few photos.
Knowing it was so-called "shared space", there are still areas down the sides of the carriageway that appear to be for pedestrians specifically.
It's not an unreasonable, after all, to expect not to have to walk directly in line with two tonne vehicles travelling at five times the speed.
But suddenly I was walking through a "loading bay" without realising it.
Then I looked up and a moped was hurtling towards me.
It wasn't massively obvious where you were supposed to be.
But ultimately it did work, look good, and make the town centre area feel open and accessible.
Few on social media seem to mention was how the old ring road must have cut the main shopping area off to pedestrians, who had to cross several lanes of traffic to get to it.
Moped incidents aside, they at least must prefer the new layout.
On the other hand, driving just a few hundred yards did seem to take a ludicrously long amount of time.
All in all, It's easy to see why the whole thing is described as a love-hate relationship.