Council to discuss north relief route

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10 Nov 2010

Controversial final section of road under review

PROGRESS on the final section of the long-awaited Northern Relief Road is to be examined by Kent county councillors.

Earlier this year, people were asked for opinions on a route for the link between the Eurolink Industrial Estate and the A2 at Bapchild.

Kent County Council came up with one option for the road, with plans showing it crossing the railway line before sweeping between Bapchild and Tonge, joining the A2 near Bapchild Cricket Club.

It also featured a spur into Bapchild which has since caused controversy, as it is at odds with plans for hundreds of new houses at Stones Farm and a protected piece of open countryside.

On Thursday, Swale Central representative county councillor Mike Whiting asked that the matter be reviewed by KCC's environment, highways and waste policy overview and scrutiny committee.
He said: "There has been much progress and work is well underway on the stretch from Kemsley to Easthall, all at a cost of tens of millions of pounds.

"However, there's a missing link between Easthall and the A2 at Bapchild. Despite various consultations we appear to have reached an impass in respect of a preferred route and funding.
"This road is of strategic importance to the regeneration of Sitting-bourne and the surrounding areas,
and I would like the committee to have the opportunity to discuss the matter.

"Hopefully, such a discussion at committee will help identify and resolve any outstanding issues surrounding the missing link, and speed up the completion of this major part of our road infrastructure."

Committee chairman Councillor Charles Hibberd agreed the importance of the route, and said he would look at the best way for members to examine progress of the works.

Stephen Waite
East Kent Gazette