Plans to construct a new 10km link road in North Thanet, east Kent, at a cost of £60M, have been released by Kent County Council.
A public consultation opened late last week calling for views on the link to the A28 Canterbury Road that would also affect roads to Manston Airport and on towards Margate, report New Civil Engineer.
A major overhaul of the transit system in the area would see existing roads widened with improved highways linking them, with new cycle paths, walkways and crossings also being constructed.
The proposals include a new route between the A28 Canterbury Road and Manston Road and a new route between Manston Road, near the junction with Shottendane Road, and Columbus Avenue. This would also see the removal of motorised vehicle access at the existing junction of Margate Hill and Manston Road.
Further capacity within the plans would see the widening of Manston Road and Shottendane Road along current highway alignments, with junction improvements included.
The A28 is a trunk route that starts on the seafront in Margate and runs south west via Canterbury, Ashford and Tenterden to Hastings in East Sussex where it joins the A21. It forms part of the ring road around the cathedral city of Canterbury, according to the New Civil Engineer report.
Kent County Council’s consultation documents said: “Approximately 15,000 vehicles per day currently travel on the A28 Canterbury Road between Birchington and Westgate-on-Sea.
“With forecast future traffic increases from both planned development and other background growth, this figure is likely to increase to around 18,000 vehicles per day by 2043. This represents an increase of approximately 20%.
“It is forecasted that the North Thanet Link will reduce future traffic increase on the A28 Canterbury Road by 2,500 vehicles per day, to 15,500 by 2043. This represents a reduction in future traffic increases to around 4%.
Kent County Council’s consultation is asking the public to provide views on how the North Thanet Link scheme should go ahead if it is given all the relevant permissions. One option would see the £60M estimated cost to be delivered with Department for Transport (DfT) cash through the Major Road Network funding stream. This would provide 80-85% of the funding with the rest coming from local developer contributions. Kent County Council is in the process of applying for this DfT funding.
The documents state that this option would mean the scheme would be delivered fully by Kent County Council in one phase over two years.
Option two is for the highway improvements to be delivered through a combination of new highway infrastructure, provided by developers of local planned development sites, and through financial contributions from those developers.
Construction would take place over a longer period with this option and be dictated by the pace at which the planned development sites are delivered.
Kent County Council cabinet member for highways and transport David Brazier said: “North Thanet Link is designed to manage traffic pressure on the busy A28, reduce traffic within Acol village, improve journey times, road safety and provide better facilities for walking and cycling.
“The change in population expected in the east of the county means we need to prepare for growth and it is essential we can continue to keep Kent moving.
“The views expressed in this public consultation will help us to develop Kent County Council’s plans as we prepare our Outline Business Case to the DfT.”
Kent County Council further stated how simply improving the A28 was not an option: “Due to the historic layout and space constraints, particularly through Birchington Square, there is limited opportunity to improve road capacity along the existing A28.
“Therefore, an alternative highway route has been identified to improve journey time reliability, network resilience and road safety.”