Published: 00:01, 18 July 2014
A Kent Highways U-turn on installing a roundabout at a busy junction in Minster has been cautiously welcomed by a campaigner.
Earlier this month we reported how the authority had said it was unlikely there would be changes to where the Lower Road meets Barton Hill Drive due to a lack of funding.
But now Kent County Council cabinet member for transport David Brazier has revealed a funding bid has been put forward for 2015/16 for a roundabout.
Kent Highways has applied for the cash to Local Transport Package Fund, which is part of a larger bid to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, and it expects to find out if it has been successful later this year.
The revelation came in an email to Elliott Jayes, who has lived in Thistle Walk for four years.
He has been liaising with Mr Brazier about the problematic junction, which has been brought to the fore recently after it was suggested a no right turn was introduced at the lights so cars cannot turn right into Barton Hill Drive from Lower Road when they are heading towards Cowstead Corner.
It was an idea to try to ease the congestion which often reaches back to the A249 but the proposal was dismissed by the Swale Joint Transportation Board in favour of fighting for a roundabout.
It is estimated this would cost around £350,000 and earlier this month Mr Brazier said the limited funding available would be concentrated on sites where there it a poor safety history and this junction does not.
It is not clear what has prompted the change of heart.
Dad-of-two Mr Jayes has been pushing for a roundabout over fears there will be an accident and the fact it will ease the traffic flow.
Although he is pleased this is more positive than it has been in the past, he is concerned when it comes to it Highways will say they don’t have the money in a few months.
He said: “They have finally changed their tune but I’m sure they will disappoint when they say they have no funding later on this year.”
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