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Rochester MP "sick to death" with Medway Council as work begins on controversial traffic scheme

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MP Kelly Tolhurst says she is "sick to death" over poor consultation from Medway Council, following the start of a new traffic management scheme.

The Rochester and Strood MP wrote to David Lucas of Medway Computer Components, in response to his concerns over work to create a new slip road from Anthony's Way on the Medway City Estate to the A289 Berwick Way.

Kelly Tolhurst in Parliament
Kelly Tolhurst in Parliament

The work is designed to alleviate congestion on the estate but there are fears the slip road will be ineffective - having little impact on traffic coming from the Medway Tunnel - and that the roadworks to build it will exacerbate existing problems.

Writing to Mr Lucas, Ms Tolhurst said: "I know that you are concerned about your business and the additional issues this could cause going forwards. I have written to the chief executive of Medway Council, Neil Davies, the leader of the council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, the portfolio holder for for front line services Cllr Phil Filmer about this situation.

"I have asked the council to urgently engage with businesses on the estate, to discuss the situation with them and the impact it will have so they can get the information they need.

"I am sick to death of the council making decisions like this without consulting the local people and businesses who will be most affected."

Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett

Medway Council announced earlier this month that the work was due to begin on Monday September 13.

The first day the work started it led to severe delays for working trying to get to the estate.

The council said it had secured £1.7million from the government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), to create a new slip road, with the aim to help traffic leave the estate more easily during peak times.

The slip road is expected to be completed in early 2022 and a 30mph speed limit will be imposed on Berwick Lane along with a lane closure while the works are completed.

The council said it consulted with businesses in 2018 to get their views on what further measures could be put in place to help ease congestion.

Council leader Alan Jarrett said he did not want to comment on Ms Tolhurt's criticism over consultation.

But he added: "Business have been campaigning for a long time for some sort of relief, it's quite simple really.

"If the MP is saying she doesn't want a relief road put in, she should say so."

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