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Plea for pedestrian and cycling bridge over the M2/A299 at Brenley Corner near Faversham

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A pedestrian and cycling bridge over the M2/A299 at Brenley Corner should be an integral feature of any future upgrade to the dangerous junction, say campaigners.

The Faversham Society believes a flyover or overpass must be considered by highways chiefs - who are putting together a scheme for the busy roundabout where the A2 meets the M2, A299 and two country roads.

Brenley Corner
Brenley Corner

The society says it is largely unchanged since its construction in 1963 and has become a "troublesome bottleneck" as the number of vehicles using it has now far surpassed its original capacity.

Brenley Corner is one of Kent's busiest junctions and was listed among the top 50 "casualty locations" nationally by Highways England - which has now been rebranded National Highways.

Trustee Matthew Hatchwell says that while the proposed upgrade is welcome, it should address the flaws which makes it an "intimidating and dangerous" obstacle for pedestrians and cyclists travelling from Canterbury to Faversham.

"This is one of the most ancient and historic routes in the country but the junction constitutes a formidable barrier, not just for pedestrians and cyclists, but also for the movement of wildlife between the coastal marshes to the north," said Mr Hatchwell, who is a wildlife consultant.

"The Society believes that any initiative to improve Brenley Corner for road traffic must cater for cyclists, pedestrians and wildlife at the same time.

"Two public rights of way currently cross the A299 within a mile of Brenley Corner. But the volume of traffic now using the dual carriageway means that pedestrians avoid the footpaths in question.

"Crossing for older people, children or with a pushchair would be irresponsible.

The Brenley Corner roundabout. Image: Google Maps
The Brenley Corner roundabout. Image: Google Maps

"A bridge would provide alternative routes for cyclists and incorporate wildlife overpasses to help create the sort of green corridor promised by Swale Borough Council in its draft Local Plan."

In a recent Zoom meeting with National Highways, bosses said the aim was to go out to public consultation with a scheme for the junction next spring with a possible start in 2023 if it was approved.

But the Faversham Society also wants a pledge that no money from Section 106 planning agreements from the many future housing developments around the town is syphoned off to help fund the junction improvement.

"The need for the junction upgrade pre-dates the anticipated expansion of housing in and around Faversham," he said.

"Under no circumstances should local funding be used to upgrade a junction whose congestion is caused, above all, by non-local traffic.

Faversham Society trustee Matthew Hatchwell
Faversham Society trustee Matthew Hatchwell

"Section 106 funds associated with new housing developments around Faversham must be earmarked for initiatives to help the town adapt to the significant growth in its population, not to subsidise a national infrastructure project."

A spokesman would not comment on the idea of a pedestrian overpass or future funding of any scheme, other than to say: "National Highways is working with local authorities and other stakeholders to find more ways to deliver safer, smoother and more reliable journeys for the road users of the future.

"To help us do this, we've allocated £347m of our funding to develop potential future projects over the next five years.

"At this stage we are gathering data and considering options for a possible scheme on the A2 at Brenley Corner.

"When ready these options will be presented to the Department for Transport for a decision as to whether to progress to the next stage."

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