Published: 17:30, 12 December 2018
People are getting their first look at what a £37million upgrade of two key junctions on the A249 could look like if Kent County Council secures government funding.
Together with Swale council and developers, KCC bid for funding from a Housing Infrastructure Fund for £31million to improve the Grovehurst roundabout, £6m for the Key Street roundabout and £3m for preparatory work for southern and northern relief roads for Sittingbourne.
In March, the government announced KCC had been successful in the first stage of its application, with the next stage being the submission of a full business case by March 1, 2019. The bid’s progress was discussed at the council’s environment and transport cabinet committee last month.
According to the report, the preferred option for Grovehurst roundabout would see the construction of a new gyratory including a new overbridge on the A249 and extensions to current slip roads.
At Key Street, the existing slip-road on to the A249 Maidstone-bound would be closed, with drivers travelling from Sittingbourne being diverted to a new roundabout at Chestnut Street to get onto the carriageway.
The new design could also serve a proposed development for 650 homes at Cryalls Lane in Borden, currently awaiting council approval.
Plans also show there would be traffic lights on the Sittingbourne-bound off-slip to prevent traffic queueing on the A249.
Cllr Mike Whiting, KCC cabinet member for planning, highways, transport and waste, said: “We need to do something to unblock the jams that regularly appear at Grovehurst roundabout and, similarly, at Key Street, which often becomes gridlocked during the rush hours.
“I’m delighted these final bids are going through and believe the preferred design will benefit drivers and users of the two junctions.”
A decision on funding will be made after the business case has been submitted.