Public consultation for prospective upgrades worth £125 million on the A2 in Kent has officially started.
Work on both of the junctions will improve traffic flow in the region thanks to the construction of new lanes, as well as enhanced slip roads.
Initial plans for the A2 were released early in 2017 for public consultation. This led to the announcement of preferred options for the junctions.
This public consultation will form the basis of Highways England’s formal planning application, once the views of the general public are taken into account and any necessary changes implemented into the plans.
The updated plans for the A2 in north Kent will see the Bean and Ebbsfleet junctions benefit from increased capacity. It will, in turn, make journey times shorter and boost health and safety at the network, which is a key aim of Highways England.
It is hoped the access to the area will encourage businesses to locate into the area, further spreading the economy all over the country.
Importantly, the work will prepare the network for further growth expected in the region in the next few decades.
A new bridge will be built over the A2 dual carriageway at Bean, resulting in two extra lanes between the two junction roundabouts – both of which will be improved too, and an additional slip road will be introduced.
At Ebbsfleet, the existing roundabouts will be enlarged, helping to widen the road between the roundabouts to a dual carriageway. Existing slip roads will also be widened.
The public consultation will last until the first week of April, and Brian Gash, Highways England Senior Project Manager, said the upgrades are “vital” and encouraged people to take part in the consultation.
He said: “Bean and Ebbsfleet junctions serve Bluewater, Ebbsfleet International station and soon the new Garden City and these vital upgrades will help to make sure that the A2 stays fit for the future opportunities coming to Kent.
“Demand is expected to grow by up to 200% by 2027, so it is vital that the final proposals we end up taking forward for planning permission are the best we can possibly make them.
“People’s input into the consultation will help us make sure that they are. There are important decisions still to be made about each junction, so I’d encourage anyone with an interest – drivers, residents, business owners and visitors – to get involved.”
Highways England has also started consultation on the Trans-Pennine Upgrade, as the Road Investment Strategy continues to shape the country’s transport network.