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Junction improvement consultation for Blue Bell Hill

Discussion in 'News Feed' started by Kent County Council, Sep 16, 2020 at 8:44 AM. Replies: 0 | Views: 1

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    A junction improvement scheme for the A229 Blue Bell Hill goes out to consultation today (Tuesday).

    The dual carriageway, which runs between Junction 6 of the M20 in Maidstone and Junction 3 of the M2 at Blue Bell Hill village, is a key link between the M20 and M2, as well as between Maidstone and Medway.

    KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “Drivers on the A229 often experience heavy traffic and significant congestion and Kent Highways also have concerns around road safety.

    “The congestion is likely to get worse with future housing development and the new Lower Thames Crossing. Hence we need to look at ways to improve reliability and reduce delays as well as improve road safety.

    “Kent Highways has developed three options for improvements to address the current and future traffic issues at junctions on this route.

    “We’d like your feedback on each of the three options to help determine which should be progressed or if a combination of ideas from across each of the options should be taken forward instead.”

    The three options being proposed are:

    Option 1

    • Upgrades to junctions at the Lord Lees roundabout and Taddington roundabout
    • Introduction of a new slip road from the A229 northbound onto the M2 northbound (in the direction of London).
    • Upgrades to junctions around Running Horse and Cobtree roundabouts

    Option 2

    • Upgrades to junctions at Bridgewood and Lord Lees Roundabout (with minimal work at Taddington Roundabout)
    • Introduction of new slip roads, one slip road from A229 northbound onto the M2 northbound, and the other being a M2 southbound slip off to a new junction configuration at Bridgewood Roundabout.
    • Upgrades to junctions around Running Horse and Cobtree roundabouts

    Option 3

    • Upgrades to junctions at Bridgewood and Lord Lees Roundabout (with minimal work at Taddington Roundabout)
    • Introduction of new slip roads, one slip road from A229 northbound onto the M2 northbound, and the other being a M2 southbound slip off to a new junction configuration at Bridgewood Roundabout.
    • A new motorway junction at the Forstal Road overbridge.

    Traffic on Blue Bell Hill, which handles around 68,000 vehicles a day, is impacted by the M2 Junction 3 and the M20 Junction 6, often leading to queues on the slip roads.

    Housing in Medway is expected to increase by almost 30,000 by 2031 with another 18,000 in Maidstone and 14,000 in Tonbridge and Malling.

    With the Lower Thames Crossing, some traffic will move away from the Dartford Crossing with an estimated 1,000 extra vehicles expected to use Blue Bell Hill.

    Between 2014 and 2019, there were 309 collisions on the main junctions connected to the A229 including two fatal collisions, 38 serious and 269 minor collisions.

    The Running Horse Roundabout and the Lord Lees Roundabout have been found to be collision hotspots.

    The consultation will run for five weeks from Tuesday, September 15 until Monday, October 19.

    To take part and find out more, visit www.kent.gov.uk/a229bluebellhill

    Paper copies are available by emailing A229bluebellhill@kent.gov.uk or calling 03000 421437 (this number goes to an answering machine, which is monitored during office hours.


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