"I am opposed to expansion of the Kent Science Park and opposed to massive housing developments south of the A2"
Cllr Mike Whiting prior to supporting HIF bid
A2/M2 link road and Junction 5A FAQs
Q. Is it true that KCC have undertaken work which demonstrates that the proposed A2/M2 link road and associated new motorway junction would not relieve traffic congestion in Sittingbourne?
A. Yes, Cllr keith Ferrin has stated that work he commissioned clearly shows that the road would not remove traffic off the A2 and would cause further problems on the existing junction 5 which is already running over capacity. But this is not the only work undertaken that proves that the link road is not feasible, a study by Babtie in response to the Local Plan Inquiry also demonstrated this.
Q. Is it correct that Swale Borough Council is only considering a route for the A2/M2 link road that passes the Kent Science Park?
A. Yes this was implied in Swale Borough Council’s Transport Strategy as far back as 2006 although frequently denied by councillors, and now in meeting minutes from the Local Development Framework on 15th October 2009 the council says “the importance of the road from the Kent Science Park to the M2”
Q. If they are to continue the proposed widening of the M2 beyond J5 to the possible J5A it will entail widening the Stockbury viaduct, which would be a massive undertaking would it not?
A. Yes the widening of the M2 between the new proposed junction (5A) and the existing junction 5 would be an enormously expensive undertaking. However rather than being simply a desire on behalf of Swale Borough Council, the Highways Agency has indicated that this would be a requirement.
Q. Why does Swale Borough Council continue to support this road if it is non starter?
A. Why indeed.
Q. Would this road be financed by housing?
A. Although at this time Swale Borough Council say not, no other single major piece of infrastructure has been constructed in Swale without a mass housing building programme.
Q. How much is this likely to cost?
A. Cllr Keith Ferrin explained to us that the most recent comparison of a new junction built in Ashford cost around £100 million. Then there is the cost of the A2/M2 link road, the fact that the existing junction 5 requires tens of millions spending on it, the widening of the motorway and finally the improvements to the A249/M20 junction. FPOG believe this would most likely cost billions rather than millions.
A. If the government refuse to fund this would Swale Council resort to housing to fund the road.
Q. The road will require so much additional infrastructure that no amount of housing could even begin to fund this enterprise. However as with the Northern Relief Road a combination of government funding and housing is a distinct possibility.
A. I had heard that Swale Borough Council was considering that the new junction would be a few miles to the east of the Kent Science Park?
Q. Although this view has been expressed on numerous occasions by Swale BC in recent years, they have stated since early 2006 that such a road would facilitate development around the Kent Science Park, so you would have to draw your own conclusions.
A. Why do we need more houses when Swale has already met their quota until 2026.
Q. Swale have already identified sufficient sites to last beyond 2026 and this does not include any of the land identified by the Kent Science Park in their proposals. The quantity of housing originally proposed and said to be required by Cllr Keith Ferrin is such that it is the equivalent of all the housing required for the whole of Swale of the next 10 to 15 years.