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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Multi-million pound A229 Blue Bell Hill, Kent, junction upgrades pushed back

Construction on a multi-million pound road project has already been pushed back by transport bosses – despite not even starting.

Kent County Council (KCC) expected to begin work on £199 million upgrades to roundabouts on the A229 at Blue Bell Hill, between Maidstone and Medway, in 2024.

Although it was not finalised, the construction date has now been pushed back to 2027, with completion three years later – before the opening of the Lower Thames Crossing.

KCC is in the process of submitting its business case to the government for funding approval and will have to wait about six months before it knows if it can continue with the project.

The £199m scheme looks to revamp the roundabouts on the A229 at the M2 junction 3 and M20 junction 6 to tackle traffic issues and improve journey time and road safety.

It will allow the road to accommodate an increase in future congestion, expected due to the Lower Thames Crossing and other proposed housing developments.

Since being announced in September 2020, a public consultation has been held asking for feedback on three design options and following this one was dropped from the proposals.

The first design includes upgrading the Lord Lees and Taddington roundabouts at the M2 junction and removing the link between the Bridgewood and Lord Lees roundabouts.

The scheme is still in the early phases of development but a spokesman for KCC confirmed it was in the process of sending further details to the Department for Transport (DfT).

The statement read: "We are preparing to submit some more information to the DfT, which they need to have to be able to make a decision on the business case.

"We hope to have an answer from the DfT in time for summer 2023.

"Unfortunately, KCC is not able to provide further details on the business case at this particular stage."

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