Published: 00:01, 11 April 2017
Plans for a new slip road off the A2 at Wincheap have been revealed - but already branded “a joke” that will add to traffic misery in area.
The £4.4 million scheme is meant to ease congestion on the city ring road and mitigate the effects of 1,150 new homes in Thanington.
But parish council clerk Roger Cheeseworth fears the impact will have the opposite effect on the already gridlocked A28 through the parish.
“It’s a joke because Highways England rules say that traffic from the A2 must have priority so the traffic lights at Wincheap will have to be set that way,” he said.
“That can only have a knock-on effect for traffic in Thanington and Wincheap which will be backed up even further, adding to the high air pollution risk.”
Mr Cheeseworth also complained that no figures for estimated traffic volumes using the new slip road have been released.
The scheme for the planned slip-road was discussed recently by Kent County Council’s environment and transportation committee.
The layout shows it coming off the A2 and switching back on itself to run though the existing park and ride and around a new roundabout, returning back to the Wincheap traffic lights.
It will involve the loss of spaces in the park and ride which will be replaced by extending the site further onto land at the rear.
Mr Cheeseworth said: “We are appreciate the need for new houses but this doesn’t appear to be the problem to mitigating the traffic congestion in the area.”
The slip road plan is also worrying the city councillor for Wincheap, Cllr Nick Eden-Green.
He said: “It has already been published, significantly without any knowledge or pre-consultation with city councillors, parish councillors or residents.
“The relief of traffic on Wincheap, our most polluted road, with many homes along it, does not seem to be addressed at all. Yet this has always been our prime objective in seeking improvements.”
Cllr Eden-Green says he is worried about the siting of a proposed pedestrian crossing and the tortuous route of the slip road which will mix vehicles with that of shopper and park and ride traffic.
He said: “At the top of the plan there is an ‘opportunity for alternative direct vehicle connection’ on Boundary Road for city bound traffic but no indication of any upgrading of the roads, nor any plans.
“Certainly if this route is to be used, the junction at the Maidens Head pub on Wincheap won’t be able to cope. HGVs can’t even turn left there, let alone right.”
But KCC highways spokesman Thom Morris said drawing was only a preliminary one submitted to the government for funding and more detail would be worked on before it was put out for public consultation.