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Calls for public inquiry into Bean interchange

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 April 2019

Early plans for the Bean interchange

Early plans for the Bean interchange

Archant

A call for a public inquiry into changes to the Bean interchange on the A2 has been made.

The Campaign Protection Rural England (CPRE) Kent Dartford and Gravesham branch is demanding the hearing be held after calling the project poor value for money.

Branch chairman Alex Hill said the Highways England Bean interchange proposals offer very poor value for money and solve nothing.

He said this scheme requires the demolition of Ightham cottages and the eviction of Spirits Rest horse sanctuary.

He said: “It will have a major negative impact on the strategic road network roads such as the A2 and B2174. Highways England has failed to take into account how having so many slip roads so close together will increase congestion on the A2. This potentially could cause traffic jams back into the Dartford crossing.”

He claims no traffic data was made available to the public which raises concerns about how valid the consultation was.

He said: “The project is only based on average traffic flows ignoring how the interchange will cope at peak times, which is an approach that makes no sense at all.

“When the new Thames crossing is built and there is a problem at the Dartford crossing there will be a massive increase in traffic on the A2. “No thought has been given how this will affect the interchange.”

Kent County Council said: “We are in regular dialogue with Highways England in relation to environmental matters and our officers are working closely with them to identify appropriate mitigations.

“As for the modelling, a number of queries have been raised with Highways England regarding peak hours, sensitivity testing of Bluewater and the Lower Thames Crossing modelling, and discussions are ongoing.”

Highways England said it will help provide thousands of new homes and jobs.

A spokesman said: “We are grateful to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and Dartford Borough Council for engaging with us and we will respond to their concerns as part of the formal consultation process.

“We will continue to work closely with all interested parties to develop the best possible scheme for residents and businesses in the area.”

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