THE A2/A28 “BELLMOUTH” JUNCTION AT THANINGTON, PROPOSED ALTERATION: SAFETY ISSUES
Three months after Rosie Duffield MP forwarded this Report to the Minister for Transport, she received a reply dated 25 March 2019 – an email of a couple of lines from the MfT with a document attached which comprised a short and dismissive letter from Highways England.
On 18th December 2018 the Wincheap Society’s Report THE A2/A28 “BELLMOUTH” JUNCTION AT THANINGTON, PROPOSED ALTERATION: SAFETY ISSUES was sent by the office of Canterbury’s MP, Rosie Duffield, to the Department for Transport (Minister, Jesse Norman). The Report has been prepared by residents of Wincheap Ward in the hope that Highways England will be required by DfT to revisit this matter, this time with the safety of the public a paramount consideration.
The Report and an accompanying Appendix of source materials can read by clicking on these links:
Summary The points we wish DfT to address as a matter of urgency are:
- Why has Highways England agreed to a road design that can only lead to an accident back spot?
- Why has Kent County Council Highways Department agreed to take over the accident black spot once it has been constructed?
- Why has Canterbury City Council not intervened on behalf of its residents who will be put at risk by this?
A design to alter to the London bound off-slip road from the A2 to the A28 at Thanington on the west side of Canterbury, proposed by a developer and accepted by HE and KCC, will involve:
- making the off-slip road into a contra-flow, so that
- traffic will enter the slip-road from the A28, and travel southwards on it, and
- the point of entry requires a left turn on a 45 degree hair-pin bend, and
- to the left of the slip road on the hair pin bend is a sheer drop to the A2 below.
The contra-flow system is to provide for construction traffic, and after that all traffic, access to a 750-house development site at Thanington. Until 2014 all previous applications to develop this land were rejected by CCC as lacking suitable road access.
However, now that a developer is to contribute £4.4 million towards construction of a 4th slip road exiting the A2 at Thanington that HE and KCC have had on their To Do list for years, and because in 2014 CCC was desperate to make up the numbers for new housing in its Local Plan, what was previously impossible is now deemed feasible.
In performing this volte face HE and KCC appear to have accepted unquestioningly the developer’s road plans and designs.
The proposed new layout will be dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians, in addition to being quite contrary to CCC’s policies for “modal change” to foot and bicycle travel.
Residents have protested this potentially disastrous plan since they first realised that HE was prepared to accept it – see further down this page, and elsewhere on this website. Our approaches to HE, KCC and CCC have been dismissed or ignored or rubbished.
The Wincheap Society’s comments on, and objections to: CA//17/02718, PPL’s “Hybrid application” for mixed-use development of land bounded by Cockering Road and the A2 Dover Road. As well as errors and assumptions made in the “Hybrid Transport Assessment” document, we have identified two major issues with this Application (which can be viewed in full on Canterbury City Council’s Planning web pages):
- apparent discrepancies concerning routing and signage;
- manoeuvrability of long lorries (LSTs and truck trains) not being considered.
Relevant text and diagrams are reproduced in our Comments, that you’ll find set out via this link:
London-bound A2-off slip Stage 1 Safety Audit The Wincheap Society’s comments: essentially, this does not appear to be a safety audit.
This document was created in May 2017 but not provided to us until October 2017. At November 2018 we have yet to see a Stage 2 Safety Audit, or a Walking, Cycling & Horse-Riding Assessment & Review Report, We begin to wonder if either of these required reports has been done.
Explanatory note: Long semi-trailer lorries
At 18.55 metres, long semi-trailer lorries are 2.05 metres longer than “maximum legal articulated vehicles”. The additional length is merely added to the back of the vehicle; the wheelbase placings remain the same as on shorter vehicles. This allows for lots of extra goods to be packed in to an LST, and so it has been calculated that LSTs will reduce the costs of transporting them. This has pleased government minsters no end. However, because our roads were not built to accommodate these vehicles, there will be significant costs in adapting them for LST use – and these these costs have not been calculated. Nor, who will pay. Nor, what the impact will be on other road users and local communities.