Published: 12:15, 06 October 2017 |
Updated: 10:27, 07 October 2017
Transport expert Peter MacDonald, 76, from Minster, has sent his designs to MP Gordon Henderson and plans to deliver them in person to the Department for Transport’s headquarters in London today (Friday).
He said: “I don’t think Highways England planners understand the first thing about traffic flow. Their scheme will do nothing to alleviate the congestion on that road, and it is certainly not the most economic way of doing it.”
He came up with his design after Swale councillors took the unusual step of rubbishing Highways England’s preferred option 12A, which retains traffic lights at the notorious Junction 5 of the M2 for Maidstone, Sittingbourne and Sheppey.
Most commentators, including Mr Henderson, have called for a flyover across the existing roundabout for motorists driving between Maidstone and Sittingbourne.
But Mr MacDonald, who chairs the transport committee of Minster Parish Council and is a chartered member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport, believes the best answer is an underpass.
He said: “It makes much more sense and would work out cheaper.
“Having attended an exhibition at The Forum in Sittingbourne and having talked to the consultants, it seems the Highways England proposals are going to be an expensive dog’s dinner.
“They will fail the project’s stated objectives and create more pollution and delays while failing to get rid of the traffic lights.”
Mr MacDonald is a former long-distance lorry driver and a member of the Swale and Kent Joint Transportation Group.
Highways England admits it has thrown out other more efficient schemes because they cost too much.
A six-week public consultation opened last month and closes on Tuesday, October 17.
The new scheme must cater for vehicles from 14,124 new homes and 130,000 square metres of factories and offices planned for the area over the next 14 years.
An announcement on the route is expected early next year followed by a formal consultation. A new junction could be ready for 2022.
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Mr MacDonald says his nine-point plan won’t need any traffic lights. He claims it will increase the junction’s capacity so it will cope with more predicted traffic and insists it will improve air quality because there will be less stopping and starting.
He says it could be built within the government’s £100 million budget.
This is what he would do:
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