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MP clears up confusion about Sittingbourne Northern Relief Road Funding

18th January 2011
MP clears up confusion about Sittingbourne Northern Relief Road Funding

Local MP, Gordon Henderson has cleared up confusion about Government funding for the Sittingbourne Northern Relief Road.

Mr Henderson wrote to Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond MP, following a Government statement which seemed to commit funds that would have seen the NRR completed, including the stretch linking it to the A2 at Bapchild.

Now Mr Henderson has received clarification from the Department of Transport that the only part of the scheme actually included in the Government’s approval statement, is the stretch of road from Ridham Avenue to Castle Road, including the crossing of Milton Creek.

The minister responsible for local major transport schemes, Norman Baker, commented:

“The western element of the Sittingbourne Northern Relief Road, linking the A249 to the Ridham Avenue roundabout was constructed by private funding and completed in 2005. The eastern element of the road at the Castle Road roundabout, as well as a short 300m spur, was also completed several years ago as part of a public/private sector initiative to further expand Eurolink Business Park. The section that extends into East Hall Farm in the direction towards the A2, was also privately funded and was completed in 2007.

“Any plans to further extend the NRR to join up with the A2 are a matter for the Kent County Council. Such plans have never formed a part of the specific scheme submitted by the KCC for Government funding.”

Mr Henderson said:

“I put my hand up. I misunderstood what Philip Hammond meant when he told Parliament that the Northern Relief Road scheme would be funded. I assumed he was talking about the complete scheme, including the link with the A2, so that is what I announced locally.

“However, following queries by local people I wrote to Philip Hammond to confirm exactly which parts of the Northern Relief Road were included in his announcement.

“His transport minister, Norman Baker, has now confirmed that the stretch from East Hall Farm to the A2 is not included in the funding approval.

“Whilst I am disappointed that the final part of the NRR is not included in the current scheme, I am delighted that at least funding is secure for the Ridham Avenue to Castle Road section.

“Once it is complete, the NRR will provide traffic from the Eurolink with a direct route to the A249. Hopefully, this will relieve the pressure on town centre roads.”

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