/ Traffic model for proposed interim M2 Junction 5A doesn't exist.
Without doubt our recent article on the proposed Interim M2 Junction 5A for the Kent Science Park caused quite a stir and following numerous email exchanges the whole escapade just gets more and more intriguing.
Firstly there were Cllr Andrew Bowles comments in the Kent on Sunday a couple of weeks ago, which are at best highly misleading, if not deliberately designed to obfuscate the boundaries between fact and fiction.
Cllr Bowles said “Some traffic modelling [where experts predict how a new road will affect traffic flows] has been done and more needs to be done, but on most of the local roads it showed a reduction in traffic”
Intrigued, we consulted with Kent Highways and Strategic Transportation Officer, Ruth Goudie told us that
“The modelling does not include J5A or the southern relief road. If in the future funding for the southern relief road can be found, this would fundamentally alter the traffic patterns across the district and significant new modelling would be required.”
So we now have confirmation that what is being proposed has never been modelled and that there are no current plans to do so.
So what might Cllr Bowles be referring to?
Well there was another traffic model undertaken in October 2011, but this was for an entirely different scheme with a full motorway junction and a Southern Relief Road, but even this fails to substantiate the claims made, as the rural network around the Science Park showed a significant increase in traffic.
Then we should also consider Cllr Bowles estimate that the junction would reduce traffic on the country lanes by 75%. Again we asked Kent Highways and were told us that “they have no knowledge of the 75% figure Cllr Bowles refers to”.
And secondly the plots thickens further, following a response Spatial Planning Manager, Gill Harris made in June to a question regarding the impact of the expansion proposals where she said
“any expansion of the Kent Science Park beyond what has already been agreed is not part of the plan; unaware of any road schemes being prioritised, but still working through transport research.”
Then just days later Gill Harris told us
“the Borough Council was kept generally informed about the priorities in the bid, and it was, indeed, at our instigation that J5A was moved to its high position in the list.”
Does anyone know what's going on?