Plans to upgrade the Bean and Ebbsfeet junctions on the A2 were put to the public between January and March this year, and today Highways England has announced the preferred route. Both junctions will have their capacity increased by adding new lanes to their existing roundabouts and slip roads. At Bean, a new bridge will be built over the A2 dual carriageway.
The upgraded junctions will help to support the creation of more than 30,000 new jobs and 15,000 new homes in Kent.
The announcement has been welcomed by the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, who today confirmed a £45m funding contribution for the project.
Highways England Project Manager Hugh Coakley said:
It’s great to see that there is clear backing for improvements to the junctions at Bean and Ebbsfleet, and I would like to thank everyone who took part in our consultation. There will be another opportunity for anyone interested in the scheme to have their say next year, when we put the final designs to people for their views.
Paul Spooner, Interim Chief Executive of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, said:
This is a major commitment by us to ensure the A2 continues to move. With up to 15,000 new homes in Ebbsfleet Garden City, we are well aware the strain that could place on local traffic, particularly at these two junctions, and this money enables that work to now go-ahead.
With these improvements and a commitment from us to improve public transport in the area with a new upgraded Fastrack service, we are helping address those concerns and ensure traffic continues to flow as we see 5,100 homes completed here by 2021.
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation will recover its investment from developer contributions established in planning agreements for the development sites in the Garden City.
The proposed Bean junction improvements will broadly follow the existing road layout but include an additional bridge over the A2 next to the existing bridge, and a new slip road onto the A2 for eastbound traffic. The current roundabouts will be enlarged and converted to traffic signal control. A new bridge over the A2 for southbound traffic will be provided to the east of the existing Bean Lane overbridge, which will be retained for northbound traffic.
The improvements which have been proposed for the Ebbsfleet junction will again closely follow the existing road layout, with the existing roundabouts being enlarged and controlled by traffic signals. The link road between the roundabouts will be widened to a dual carriageway. The eastbound and westbound slip roads to the A2 will also be widened.
The scheme will help to increase capacity on the road network to accommodate future growth, improve journey times and smooth traffic through the junctions, as well as provide better facilities to non-motorised users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and horses.
A public consultation on the options was held from Wednesday 18 January 2017 to Wednesday 1 March 2017. A total of 169 responses were received during this consultation. A copy of the consultation report can be found on the Highways England website and copies of the announcement flyer are available online or at a variety of locations in the local area.
Anyone interested in the scheme can sign up to receive updates via the project page on the Highways England website where they can also find an animated visualisation outlining the preferred route.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.