M20 junction project delayed
A report on the proposed new junction off the M20 in Ashford reveals that the project has been delayed.
A progress report for the new junction 10a scheme will be given by Highways England at next Tuesday’s Ashford Joint Transportation Board meeting.
Plans include building two bridges and a new roundabout over the M20 approximately 700 metres east of the existing junction 10, as well as a new link road to the A2070.
The proposal also includes losing the two southern slip roads off junction 10.
It is hoped that the delivery of extra capacity - at what will be called junction 10a - will relieve the existing busy junction 10 (the William Harvey Hospital turn-off) and cater for the town’s future needs.
Funding of £20 million has been secured from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership – a regional group made up of business representatives, local government and council leaders.
The report, by Salvatore Zappala from Highways England, released ahead of the meeting, states: “The traffic modelling has been completed and we are currently revisiting the scheme design to give us the best value for money option.
“It is important that each new junction on the revised road system creates as little congestion as possible both for future road users and also because this influences the economic appraisal we have to carry out to justify making this investment of public funds.”
The report also adds that the planning application for the development at Sevington - to create warehouses on farmland - is running parallel to the junction 10a project.
It adds: “Although the two processes are separate we continue to work closely together.
“Issues around the rural lanes and their relationship to the Sevington development will be tackled as part of the Sevington planning application process.
“The design work being carried out has led to the project programme being put back.”
It was hoped that a public consultation on the project would be carried out this summer, but this has been delayed until late autumn now.
If all approved, a start date on the site is estimated for early 2018, with about 18 months construction period.
Traffic signals at the Junction 10 M20 roundabout