Following the successful National Productivity Investment Fund bid, Kent County Council has been awarded £9.4m of Government allocation. This combines with £1.5m in developer contributions and £500k investment from Maidstone Borough Council to deliver a congestion busting improvement on the A249 Bearsted Road. This involves the widening of the carriageway between Bearsted Road and New Cut Road roundabouts, the connection onto the M20 and other works necessary to join other connecting local roads.
The outline design stage commenced in December 2017 and numerous investigatory works are ongoing to assist in the final design of the scheme. It is anticipated that engagement with the local community and stakeholders will commence in the summer months with a newsletter being distributed to the surrounding businesses and residents.
It is anticipated that the detailed design will be completed by December 2018. The construction phase of the project will then start in the summer of 2019 with an 18 month construction period.
In connection with the above, KCC have submitted a Growth and Housing Fund bid to Highways England for funding to deliver the signalisation and localised widening of the M20 at junction 7.
"This is really good news for our area", commented Local Kent County Councillor Ian Chittenden. "With the possibility of 2 new schools, further expansion of the KIMS site and M & S having now made the formal application for their new retail store on Eclipse Park, this is perfect timing. Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council have been working together for a number of years to achieve this road scheme which will, when built, substantially improve what is the main congestion and air pollution hot-spot in our area."
Local Lib Dem Councillors will be having further discussions with Highway Officers to ensure residents are fully consulted and have the opportunity to provide comments once more details become available.