A2: Highways England opens consultation on planned £125m improvements
Plans for a £125m A2 upgrade have been revealed.
Highways bosses are asking drivers for their views on the proposed changes in a consultation, which opens today.
Under the plans, the Bean and Ebbsfleet junctions will both see their capacity increased.
This will improve journeys, boost safety and prepare the road network for the transformative growth expected in north Kent in the coming decades, according to Highways England chiefs.
Senior project manager, Brian Gash, said: “Bean and Ebbsfleet junctions serve Bluewater, Ebbsfleet International station and soon the new Garden City and these vital upgrades will help to make sure that the A2 stays fit for the future opportunities coming to Kent.
“Demand is expected to grow by up to 200 per cent by 2027, so it is vital that the final proposals we end up taking forward for planning permission are the best we can possibly make them.
“People’s input into the consultation will help us make sure that they are. There are important decisions still to be made about each junction, so I’d encourage anyone with an interest – drivers, residents, business owners and visitors – to get involved.”
An initial consultation ran between January and March last year, before the preferred options were announced in August.
Now, the public is being asked for views on the updated plans:
- Both junctions will see enlarged junction roundabouts, with new lanes and enhanced slip roads.
- At Bean, a new bridge will be built over the A2 dual carriageway providing two extra lanes between the two junction roundabouts, which will also be improved.
- Another slip road for eastbound traffic joining the A2 will also be built.
Chief executive of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, Ian Piper, said: “With up to 15,000 new homes in Ebbsfleet Garden City, it is important that local infrastructure is improved to accommodate this growth.
“With our support for the proposed scheme for the two A2 junctions and a commitment from us to improve public transport in the area through a new and upgraded Fastrack service, we are investing to ensure traffic continues to flow.”
It is thought the upgraded junctions will help support 30,000 jobs and 15,000 homes.
But not everyone is happy with the plans.
If the green light is given Duncan Wood will lose his property to a Compulsory Purchase Order.
Mr Wood said: “In all probability my house will be compulsory purchased and I’ll have to find somewhere else.
“Because I’m the chairman of the residents’ association we went to talk to Highways England about it to see if there was another alternative.
“The deal is they pay me the value of the house as if it wasn’t going to happen, plus 10% and the moving and legal costs.”
Public information events about the changes run from today with the first being held at the Heritage Community Hall, Craylands Lane, Swanscombe.
From then they will be held at the following locations:
- Saturday, February 24, 10am until 3pm, Bean Youth and Community Centre, High Street, Dartford
- Saturday, March 3, 9am until 9pm, Bluewater Shopping Centre, Dartford
- Saturday, March 10, 10am until 3pm Eastgate, Springhead Parkway, Northfleet
- Thursday, March 15, 7am until 9am and 3pm until 7pm at Ebbsfleet International Station, Dartford
- Saturday, March 17, 10am until 2pm, Stone Pavilion, Hayes Road, Stone
The consultation materials will also be available to view from 2018 at the following locations, during their normal hours of opening:
- Dartford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford
- Swanscombe and Greenhithe Town Council, The Groves, Swanscombe
- Bean Youth and Community Centre, High Street, Bean
- Greenhithe Library, London Road, Greenhithe
- Fleetdown Library, Swaledale Road, Dartford
- Longfield Library, 49 Main Road, Longfield
- Swan Valley Library, Swanscombe Library Discovery Centre, Southfleet Road, Swanscombe
- Temple Hill Community Centre, Temple Hill Square, Dartford
- Coldharbour Road Library, 3 Coldharbour Road, Northfleet
- Hive House Library, Hive House, Northfleet
- Gravesend Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend
- Gravesham Borough Council, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend
- Maidstone County Hall, County Hall, Maidstone
- Stone Pavilion, Hayes Road, Greenhythe
Details on the plans and feedback forms are available online from today until 11:45pm Wednesday, April 4.