Published: 11:47, 19 October 2019
| Updated: 11:51, 19 October 2019
The first round of funding has been secured to widen the A2 from Lydden to Dover.
Transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris told MP Charlie Elphicke that Highways England has been given funding to “investigate options for improving the A2 around Dover.”
It follows a long local campaign to get the A2 dualled, including a specific request for a feasibility study from the Dover MP earlier this year.
Mr Elphicke, with Dover District Council, Kent County Council and the Port of Dover want to widen the the road, which was first suggested in the 1980s.
Mr Elphicke said: “This is a first step in the right direction – and it has been a long time coming. Everyone knows we have needed major road upgrades for years.
“Unfortunately, for decades no-one has listened. Yet we have kept fighting and it looks like the government is finally taking notice.
“This area has endured traffic problems for far too long. We’ve been clear that it’s time for proper investment to put it right.”
Public bodies believe widening the A2 to Dover Eastern Docks would provide a viable alternative for traffic bound for the port, particularly when the Lower Thames Crossing is built.
This is planned to be the UK's longest road tunnel, from Essex to east of Gravesend.
The Port also wants to operate a second TAP scheme.
The first, on the A20, means lorries queuing down the left-hand lane when there are delays.
It has significantly reduced gridlockin Dover, as well as prevented Operation Stack from being implemented at all since 2015.
Regarding long term investment Mr Heaton-Harris said: “I fully understand the arguments for investment in Kent resilience and the case for enhancing sections of the A2. We have provided Highways England with funding to investigate options for improving the A2 around Dover.
“Additionally, work is underway on finding a permanent solution to Operation Stack and the department is currently considering draft proposals from Highways England.”
More by this authorSam Lennon