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Chart Road dual carriageway plan between Matalan and Tank roundabouts in Ashford remains at standstill

By Georgia Woolf

Plans for a dual carriageway remain at a standstill months after Kent County Council said starting the work without a security bond would put the authority at an "unacceptable financial risk".

Construction of the £26 million Chart Road dual carriageway in Ashford, which will widen the stretch between the Tank roundabout and Matalan, was due to begin earlier this year after scores of trees were felled.

But council chiefs say they are still in talks with Hodson Developments to secure the funding as the house builder is yet to stump up the security bond.

Trees have already been cut down in Chart Road
Trees have already been cut down in Chart Road

The development company is behind the first phase of the nearby Chilmington Green development, where 5,750 homes will be built by 2030.

Contractors began preparation work on the stretch in February, cutting mature trees down before the start of the bird nesting season.

Full construction was expected to start in March before being completed by autumn 2019.

The tank roundabout is due to be improved
The tank roundabout is due to be improved

The scheme is being funded from developer contributions so the town can cope with more cars travelling from the 5,750-home Chilmington Green housing project.

But Alan Hodson, managing director of Hodson Developments, said: "We are still in discussions with Kent County Council to find a way forward to enable the work on the A28 road improvements to begin."

Cllr Paul Bartlett (Con) says the delay is a positive one for Ashford.

The proposed scheme
The proposed scheme

He said: "I think the delay with the dual carriageway turned out to be the best thing.

"Can you imagine the problems if we had three big projects, including junction 10a and the Newtown roadworks, all going on at the same time?

"By delaying it for a year, it worked out for the best.

"If it starts next year as expected, by then Newton roadworks will be a distant memory and there won't be an overlap of the projects."

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