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North Thanet Link road completion date set for 2028 as planning application due to be submitted ‘this year’ says Kent County Council

A planning application for a long-awaited link road is expected to be lodged later this year with the scheme completed before the end of 2028.

A recent meeting of the Thanet Joint Transport Board (JTB) was given an outline of the timeframe for the £60 million North Thanet Link Road after Kent County Council gave the project the nod.

A new £60m road link has been proposed for the A28 Canterbury Road near Margate. Picture: KCC
A new £60m road link has been proposed for the A28 Canterbury Road near Margate. Picture: KCC

But the A28 Canterbury Road scheme will be subject to changes after a public consultation and may be influenced by the needs of the district council’s housing and development requirements.

Local concerns remain that the North Thanet Link will simply attract more traffic rather than ease congestion at pinch points.

It will see a six-mile route between the A28 and Manston Road - effectively bypassing Birchington-on-Sea, Westgate-on-Sea and Garlinge - along with various cycling and walking infrastructure.

Various other roads will be widened including Manston Road and Shottendane Road, a new route parallel to the eastern part of Shottendane Road and the high street in Garlinge.

A new route would also be proposed between Hartsdown Road, Shottendane Road and Manston Road in Margate.

Thanet KCC member Cllr Barry Lewis said: “My personal concern is that the premise of building new roads does not solve traffic problems, it makes them worse.

The layout of the affected roads under the proposed scheme
The layout of the affected roads under the proposed scheme

“Look at the M25 and the Newbury by-pass. As soon as they were built, they filled up. People will travel further to get on it and it will just fill up.

"It will not take traffic away from Westwood Cross which is a real problem area."

According to KCC, the link road “seeks to support the A28 highway corridor by improving local journeys through a combination of new road links, road widening, junction improvements and new walking and cycling facilities”.

Last year the council wrote: “Road users travelling on the A28 Canterbury Road corridor often experience high volumes of traffic, which can result in congestion and road safety concerns.

“The busy nature of this road, along with the type of traffic using it regularly, can act as a deterrent to pedestrians and cyclists as it creates an intimidating environment for non-car users.

“Without highway improvements, these issues are likely to be made worse by future development, which will generate further traffic and travel demand on this stretch of road.”

Cllr Barry Lewis believes the new road will shift congestion elsewhere
Cllr Barry Lewis believes the new road will shift congestion elsewhere

Cllr Lewis warned: "The road will make the land more attractive to developers - let's put it that way. I accept that we need more houses as long as they are affordable and not at the expense of prime farmland."

Specific changes have been included by KCC following feedback receiving during a public consultation, including:

Extra crossings for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and a footway/cycleway on Shottendane Road to the south of the proposed corridor.

Revised roundabout design for the A28 junction including pedestrian and cycle crossings; realignment of the Columbus Avenue link (to Manston Road) “to reflect emerging development proposals and to lessen the impact on operational farmland”.

Anticipated changes to road alignment and geometry at the eastern extent of the scheme to reflect latest development proposals and a widening of junction approach lanes to take increased flows of traffic.

Cutting the number of approach arms at the proposed junction with Manston Road/Shottendane Road and Columbus Avenue extension.

Relocating shared footway/cycleway to the north side of Manston Road next to the boundary of Quex Park.

Ground and environmental surveys will take place this spring and summer before a planning application is lodged in the fourth quarter of 2024 or early next year, say papers submitted to the JTB.

The documents add: “Early-stage land acquisition discussions will continue into next year when a compulsory purchase order (CPO) process is likely to be commenced in order to secure the scheme programme (subject to planning consent being granted).

“Following land acquisition and scheme tendering, a full business case (FBC) will be submitted to DfT (Department for Transport) and a decision will be made on scheme funding by DfT.

“An FBC is the final part of the process and is normally undertaken after land and scheme tendering has been completed and the scheme is ready for delivery.”

The JTB noted a report but asked its author, KCC project manager James Wraight, to attend the next scheduled meeting.

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