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MP Gordon Henderson openly supports private motorway junction for Kent Science Park.

Home / Blog / MP Gordon Henderson openly supports private motorway junction for Kent Science Park.
13
Nov
Interesting to see our MP Gordon Henderson’s speech on the Sittingbourne and Sheppey Road Infrastructure and there are few that would disagree that something needs to be done to address the various traffic issues that the borough faces.

It is however immensely disappointing that Mr Henderson has elected to support the concept of a temporary private motorway junction to the Kent Science Park.

Gordon says
 
“The Kent science park also creates congestion on local roads in south Sittingbourne, which is another problem that needs to be resolved. The owners of the park, with Swale borough council and Kent county council, have plans for a link from the M2 at what would become junction 5A, but they have been stymied by current Highways Agency restrictions on spur roads from motorways. I am keen to see that spur built because not only would it help to relieve congestion on a number of roads in south Sittingbourne; it could form part of what we hope will eventually become the southern relief road.”

Firstly unless you firmly believe that the Kent Science Park has not been telling the truth about the locality of their workforce, i.e. that the majority live in Swale, it is difficult to comprehend how the creation of a private motorway junction is going to make any significant difference to easing congestion on the local rural road network created by that same workforce.

Secondly such an arrangement implies that any new employment opportunities are likely to come from outside the borough.

Thirdly the no transport benefits as access will need to be controlled via the owners of the park to the rural road network.

Finally there would be no guarantee that the Southern Relief Road would ever be completed.

It isn’t hard to see why the owners of the Kent Science Park want a new motorway junction so desperately, but let’s drop the pretence that this has anything to do with creating local jobs or creating a sustainable or environmentally acceptable travel plan.

It is also frustrating that Mr Henderson has along with so many others decided to ignore the findings of the traffic modelling which has taken place to date.

Gordon says

“That leads me back to the northern relief road, which links the A249 to both Eurolink and Great Easthall, which is a housing development north of the A2. The problem is that the northern relief road has never been completed, so it is not much of a relief to anyone.

Obviously, local businesses on Eurolink and the residents of Great Easthall want the final link to be built as soon as possible, but many other people feel that finishing the northern relief road without first building a southern relief road would be a mistake because it would simply increase congestion on the A2 and the number of vehicles using rural roads in villages such as Bapchild, Bredgar, Rodmersham and Tunstall as rat runs to the M20.”


Firstly it is true that completing the Northern Relief Road massively increases traffic on the A2, but I don’t recall any particular increase pertaining to this for the villages of Bapchild, Bapchild, Bredgar, Rodmersham and Tunstall other than that creating by expanding the Kent Science Park.

Secondly the traffic model clearly demonstrated that even with the Southern Relief Road the A2 remains heavily congested to a point where people start to select alternative routes, with the conceived wisdom that this will be the A249 and M2.

Gordon continues with

“I have long held the view that a southern relief road is critical to Sittingbourne’s long-term future. Not only would it open the way to completion of the northern relief road, while protecting the southern villages; it would help to reduce congestion on both the A2 and the A249.”

The traffic modelling shows increases in congestion on both the A2 and A249, whilst as explained above the A2 reduction is negligible if any, the A249 is less clear and there is at this point in time no evidence that directly supports the view that the Southern Relief Road makes any real difference to the A249 and in particular to the existing M2 junction 5.

Obviously if Mr Henderson is in possession of some new traffic modelling or wishes to justify his new found support for the greater expansion of the Kent Science Park I would be more than happy to publish any response. 

 
Andy Hudson
Sittingbourne.Me





Comments

Showing comments 1 to 2 of 2

comment
We need the northern relief road finished off! As a great Easthall resident, we find it ridiculous to have to drive all the way round, through the business park, to get to the south side of the A2. Some residents have even taken upon themselves to park on Oak Road Murston as there is no exit except via the bus Lane (but let's face it, Police giving out 6 points for going through it is a bit harsh). When you need to drive to drop your kids off at school, the traffic along church road, Murston towards A2 is hideous. Surely by finishing off the Northern relief road will relieve pressure elsewhere, including the A2 through sittingbourne, teynham, and newington, as lorries will use the relief road to get on a2 Dover bound.
Lets do it, sooner rather than later!
Comment by Isla on 01 Jul 2014
comment
We need the new exit (5A) to link the northern relief road, this will stop lorries travelling through Sittingbourne from Teynham. We also need the M2 widened up to at least 3 lanes from Gillingham down to Faversham, with lights added for safety, The M2 is the main gateway to Europe.  
Comment by Alan Jeffrey on 13 Nov 2013
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