Final part of road plans displayed
17 Feb 2010
Barbara Watson from Bapchild takes in the proposals
PROPOSALS for the final section of Sittingbourne's long-awaited Northern Relief Road were met with a mixed reaction at their unveiling in Bapchild.
Villagers gathered at Hempstead House Hotel, London Road, for the first public viewing of plans for the fourth section of the link road.
The completed route will run between the A249 at Kemsley and the A2 at Bapchild, creating a northern by-pass of the town for drivers approaching from Sheppey or Faversham.
The final section will link the new Great Easthall development in Murston with the A2 at Bapchild.
Residents were given the opportunity to view maps and details of the new "combined route", an amalgamation of two previously suggested routes, that would cost an estimated £20.5 million.
Concerns were expressed about the effects of noise and the damage to the countryside but the benefit of reduced traffic through Bapchild was also acknowledged.
Officers from Kent County Council, and design consultants were there to answer questions at the consultations on Friday evening and Saturday, and the 235 visitors were asked to complete a questionnaire expressing their views.
Anyone who was not able to go to the exhibition can view plans at Swale House in East Street, Sit-tingbourne, or via KCC's website at www.kent.gov.uk.
Comments on the proposals can be registered until Monday, May 10 - call KCC on 01622 221866 or email email@example.com.
Villagers have their say on effect of the by-pass
David Ansell, 54, Of Hempstead Lane, said: "At the moment we can sit in the back garden and we very rarely hear the A2 or the railwaytrack.lt [the link road] is going to cause noise implications for the village."
Ann Ball, of WihtredRoad, said: "For the road to go ahead it's got to have funding for the whole thing so Bapchild is bypassed. It is too small to take the extra traffic from Easthali and the A249.
Tony Pardoe, 72, of Church Road, Tonge, said: "We are in favour of the Northern Relief Road but we don't like the proposed route. We would prefer anything that goes north of Tonge so doesn't go across the country park."
Allison Taylor, 48, said: "It's a case of accepting they are going to do it, you've got to move with the times. The road will take a lot of heavy traffic off the A2. The only down thing is that it will go through a lot of greenery."
Article by Suz Elvey - East Kent Gazette