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Kent to get HS2 money for improvements to Blue Bell Hill at Maidstone and North Thanet Link

The government has identified other road schemes in Kent that could be in line for a share of the money being saved by scrapping HS2.

Improvements to Blue Bell Hill and the North Thanet Link – previously the A28 – have both been placed on a list updated by the Department for Transport (DFt).

Brenley Corner junction on the A2
Brenley Corner junction on the A2

The disclosure by the DfT came after it refused to respond to questions about the possible upgrade of a number of key road schemes that could qualify for a share of billions of pounds that was to have been spent on HS2 – a high speed rail link between London and the North which has since been curtailed by the Prime Minister..

The DfT had announced that some of the money would be going towards the costs of the Brenley Corner junction on the A2 but no details were provided about other schemes.

Instead, the Department for Transport issued a statement saying only that it would be evaluating several road schemes and their costs before any final decisions were taken. However, that situation changed over the weekend.

It is not clear how much money is to be allocated but it is likely that work on both will be brought forward.

KCC had expected to be able to begin work on Blue Bell Hill improvements on the A229 next year but that time scale was pushed back by the government to 2027, with the £199m project being completed by 2030.

The £60m North Thanet link Project is designed to improve local journeys around the A28 with new road links, road widening and cycling lanes. It includes a new road running to the south east of the A28 Canterbury Road covering a stretch of about six miles.

On the government's commitment to the new Lower Thames Crossing a spokesperson said that the department “would not be able to comment further as the DCO is live” – a reference to National Highways' ongoing application for a development consent order for the project which would see a major tunnel road link between Kent and Essex.

It would be built near Gravesend and is aimed at relieving pressure on the oft-gridlocked Dartford Crossing.

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