Canterbury City Council and Kent County Council have jointly announced their intention to push for a new eastern bypass for the city.
A new A28 bypass linking Sturry Road to the A2 would take through traffic away from the ring road and could have major benefits for Canterbury in terms of tackling air quality. It would also be intrinsic to the future economic growth of the city and the wider east Kent region.
The bypass is not included within the district’s current Transport Strategy, which was put together by both councils.
It was felt at the time that the strategy adequately dealt with the transport needs required to support future house building, including a completely new junction on the A2 at Bridge, a new A2 coastbound off-slip at Wincheap, a new road linking the A257 with Chaucer Road, new roads around the Sturry and Broad Oak areas, expanded park and ride sites and more cycle and pedestrian facilities.
But the strategy left open the option to revisit the eastern bypass idea, and the councils have been discussing it in recent months. Those talks have concluded that now is the time to support the concept, begin looking at a potential route for it and examine possible sources of funding, such as the government’s Major Roads Network project.
Leader of Canterbury City Council, Cllr Simon Cook, said: “We work very closely with the county council on the road network in and around the city and the improvements that are needed in the future, connected to population growth and the needs of businesses.
“We know that the government sees Canterbury as being a centre for growth in Kent, and we are keen on increasing prosperity and job creation. This requires housing to support those extra jobs, as well as ensuring our own residents and their children have good, affordable homes to live in.
“Planning for this future never stops, and together, we have agreed that now is the time to get this ambitious scheme off the ground. It is very early days and there is much work to do, but we will be seeking to push this forward as a priority for Canterbury.”
KCC Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste, Mike Whiting, said: “We are pleased to support Canterbury City Council in its ambition for what would be a major new piece of road infrastructure to support their own development plans and those of the wider east Kent region.
”We recognise Canterbury is an ever-growing city and with the increase in new homes comes an increasing population. For that reason we will work with Canterbury City Council on potential routes and sources of funding.”