Plans for a new £29.6 million Sturry link-road are out to public consultation today (Wednesday).
The proposed road aims to reduce traffic through the centre of Sturry, relieve congestion at the Sturry level crossing and cater for extra traffic from the new housing proposed at Sturry, Broad Oak and beyond at Herne Bay.
The proposed mile-long road will link the A291 Sturry Hill with the A28 Sturry Road.
Additions will include three new roundabouts, a three metre wide shared cycleway and footway between A28 and A291, six pedestrian crossings, including one signal controlled, and a bus lane on the section down to the A28.
A section of new road is also proposed to provide a direct link to Shalloak Road.
The new road will follow an east to westerly route to the north of the Canterbury to Ramsgate railway line and will include a viaduct spanning both the railway and both arms of the River Stour.
Major changes to the Island Road/Sturry Hill junction including changing priorities and prohibiting movements will be necessary to encourage use of the link road. Kent County Council has put three different proposals forward for residents to comment on.
KCC cabinet member for transport Matthew Balfour said: “I would encourage everyone that regularly uses this route – as well as wider residents in the area – to get involved in this consultation.
“It’s being carried out at the pre-planning stage which means you have the opportunity to provide feedback before plans are finalised for the planning application.
“We believe this new link road offers a real opportunity to help reduce congestion, provide more reliable journey times and improve road safety whilst serving the needs of new housing.”
About 21,000 vehicles a day, including about 800 heavy goods vehicles, use the level crossing, a figure that has steadily increased by 7% over the past five years.
It is predicted that over 50% of this traffic would divert to use the link road and could carry around 30,000 vehicles a day by 2031.
It is hoped construction will start in 2019/20 and take 18 months.
This will depend on KCC getting planning consent and securing the land required between the A28 and the railway.
It will also be dependent on the Sturry and Broad Oak housing developers getting planning consent allowing them to enter into a formal funding agreement for the link road.
The consultation will run from July 26 to September 6.
Exhibitions will be held on August 1 at Broad Oak Village Hall; August 2 at Sturry Social Centre; and August 31 at Sturry Social Centre all between 2pm and 8pm.
For more information and to take part, visit www.kent.gov.uk/sturrylinkroad