Highways England to upgrade two junctions on A2
Highways England (HE) in the UK has released details of the proposed £125m upgrade to Bean and Ebbsfeet junctions along the A2 in north Kent.
The upgrade proposal on A2 was put to the public by the highway authority earlier this year between January and March, with the proposal supported by a majority, enabling HE to announce it as a preferred route.
As part of the upgrade, HE will be adding new lanes to the existing roundabouts and slip roads at both junctions in order to increase its capacity.
HE anticipates that the upgrade will create more than 30,000 new jobs and 15,000 new homes in Kent.
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."
The decision was welcomed by Ebbsfleet Development, an organisation set up by the UK Government to deliver nearly 15,000 homes and create a 21st century garden city in north Kent.
Ebbsfleet Development has agreed to provide £45m funding for the project.
Ebbsfleet Development interim chief executive Paul Spooner 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.”
Bean junction improvements will be carried out within the existing road layout, and will also see an addition of a new bridge over the A2 next to the existing bridge, as well as a new slip road onto the A2 for eastbound traffic.
According to HE, the 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.
Ebbsfleet junction improvements will also follow the existing road layout, and the current roundabouts will be enhanced and controlled by traffic signals.
The link roads will be widened between the roundabouts with a dual carriageway.
The eastbound and westbound slip roads to the A2 will also be widened as part of the improvements plan.
HE expects that the proposed improvement scheme would increase the capacity of the road network to accommodate future growth, as well as improve journey times and smooth traffic through the junctions.