Doubts over promise of roads cash
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.
“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.”
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Cllr Paul Bartlett