‘support of Mps to access governMent funding will be critical’
KCC’s cabinet member for transport Cllr Matthew Balfour is expected to decide at his meeting at the end of this month to allocate funding for his officers to carry out a strategic impact assessment for a bypass.
Traffic flows will be “modelled” to demonstrate there is a business case for a relief road. A report on that is expected in the spring, after that, if the modelling supports a bypass, officials will investigate possible routes.
But officers are unlikely to look for the opportunity for a dual carriageway, as previously put forward in the 1990s, rather they would be looking for a single carriageway 50mph road.
Even this modest road was likely to cost a minimum of £55m, probably rising to £75m with inflation before it could be delivered.
Without government subsidy, a relief road could not go ahead without substantial Section 106 contributions from developers, implying yet more housing development.
But Cllr Cooke said the government had announced a £1bn fund for strategic infrastructure improvements.
He said: “If the strategic assessment proves positive, as I’m sure it will, that is when the support of our MPs to access that government funding will be critical.”