TREE-LINED UR­BAN AV­ENUE TO TAKE SHAPE AS WORK STARTS ON VIC­TO­RIA WAY New road to pave way for jobs, homes and leisure

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Alastair Irvine airvine@thek­m­

CON­STRUC­TION of a ma­jor new road scheme to the south of Ash­ford town cen­tre is about to get un­der­way.

Kent County Coun­cil has just signed the con­tract with con­trac­tor Volker Fitz­patrick for the con­struc­tion of Vic­to­ria Way.

Ash­ford coun­cil says the new road will open up the town cen­tre south of the rail­way lines, paving the way for sub­stan­tial busi­ness and com­mer­cial devel­op­ment.

Ju­dith Ar­mitt, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ash­ford’s Fu­ture, the agency over­see­ing the town’s devel­op­ment, said: “This is the most sig­nif­i­cant project to start in Ash­ford since the works to the for­mer ring road and the new shared space.

“To­gether with the works to junc­tion 9 and Drovers round­about, this will not only im­prove traf­fic flow it will also en­able de­vel­op­ers to in­vest in ex­tra jobs, homes and leisure op­por- tu­ni­ties. The vi­sion is for a 24mwide tree-lined ur­ban av­enue, with wide pave­ments, cy­cle and traf­fic turn­ing lanes, land­scap­ing and the op­por­tu­nity for new shops, restau­rants and cafes and homes.

“This will hap­pen in phases, but the road it­self and some of the land­scap­ing will be com­pleted as early as March 2011.”

The new road will run from the ex­ist­ing Vic­to­ria Road, op­po­site the rail­way sta­tion, through what is now in­dus­trial land to join the A28 near Great Chart.

The cen­tre­piece of the first phase will be the new Wal­lis Square out­side Vic­to­ria Road Pri­mary School.

Plan­ning ap­proval for Vic­to­ria Way was granted last au­tumn and the project has se­cured £16.5 mil­lion in Com­mu­nity In­fra­struc­ture Fund­ing from Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Govern­ment and the Depart­ment for Trans­port.

The Homes and Com­mu­ni­ties Agency will have over­all re­spon­si­bil­ity for the con­struc­tion of the road.

Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil leader Cllr Paul Bartlett (Con) said “I am de­lighted that this project is now un­der way.

“It is a very ex­cit­ing devel­op­ment which will im­prove ac­cess to the town cen­tre, cre­ate a new vi­brant square and en­cour­age in­ward in­vest­ment to an area that has been ne­glected for a good num­ber of years.”

Pic­ture: Gary Browne PD1685846

Vic­to­ria Way will be an ur­ban av­enue with wide pave­ments and cy­cle lane

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