Doubts over prom­ise of roads cash

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

The govern­ment has in­di­cated it is com­mit­ted to fund­ing a new mo­tor­way junc­tion in Ash­ford.

In a doc­u­ment pre­sented to Par­lia­ment last Thurs­day, the pro­posed junc­tion 10a of the M20 was ear­marked for fund­ing.

The govern­ment pledged to spend some £70bn on trans­port projects by 2020 which in­cluded all avail­able High­ways Agency road projects to tackle the most con­gested parts of the net­work.

The new mo­tor­way junc­tion, which will ease prob­lems at junc­tion 10, near the Wil­liam Harvey Hos­pi­tal, is pro­posed to have a dual car­riage­way link road to the ex­ist­ing A2070 South­ern Or­bital Road, and will also con­nect to the A20 Hythe Road.

Cllr Paul Bartlett, the mem­ber for Weald East Ward where the junc­tion could be built, was pos­i­tive about it be­ing on the agenda but thought it was un­likely that the govern­ment would be able to fund the full junc­tion, which is es­ti­mated to cost around £90 mil­lion.

Prob­lem

“We all know that junc­tion 10 has a se­ri­ous prob­lem and is just go­ing to get worse with more homes be­ing built at Cheese­mans Green,” he said.

“It’s good that it’s on the agenda for the govern­ment but how much cash they’re pre­pared to throw into the pot is any­body’s guess.

“I don’t think they’re likely to be as gen­er­ous as the pre­vi­ous govern­ment.”

Plans for a smaller al­ter­na­tive, with slip roads to and from the coast but not in the Lon­don di­rec­tions, was put for­ward along with AXA DMI’s pro­posal for a dis­tri­bu­tion de­pot on farm­land off High­field Lane last year.

Lo­cal cam­paign group the Vil­lage Al­liance formed in op­po­si­tion, rais­ing con­cerns about traf­fic con­ges­tion and loss of coun­try­side.

How­ever, it was an­nounced in Fe­bru­ary that both schemes were be­ing post­poned due to is­sues with fund­ing.

The lat­est com­mit­ment was listed un­der “High­ways Agency road schemes which the govern­ment is com­mit­ted to fund­ing sub­ject to fi­nal­i­sa­tion of op­tions.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@ the km­group.co.uk

Cllr Paul Bartlett

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