£4m bid made to government to upgrade roads near M20 junction as Kent Medical Campus gathers pace
PUBLISHED: 10:06 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:06 17 July 2017
High Level Photography Ltd
Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council say the investment would help reduce congestion
The government is being urged to back a bid to upgrade the road network around junction 7 of the M20 as work on the Kent Medical Campus in Maidstone gathers pace.
A £4m bid to help reduce congestion has been made to the government’s National Productivity Investment Fund by Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council, after it secured a further £1.5m from the campus.
If approved, it would fund the upgrading of the two roundabouts close to the junction at Bearsted Road and New Cut Road, stimulate new jobs on the campus site - which includes a new £18m mental health hospital - and support residential development.
As part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone, which offers financial incentives to companies choosing to invest there, the site has already seen a significant rise in the number of enquiries.
The councils had had previously backed a bid from the government’s Local Growth Fund to improve Junction 7, but it was nationally four times oversubscribed and other parts of the country received the financial support for infrastructure.
Fran Wilson, leader of Maidstone Borough Council, said: “It’s important that we constantly look to improve the area’s infrastructure and creation of jobs at Kent Medical Campus, which is why we’ve earmarked £500,000 towards the project.
“The funding will help Maidstone keep pace with housing growth and new jobs, as is being done down the M20 at the new Junction 10a at Ashford.
“The economic case for improving the road network is a compelling one.
“We hope that the bid, developed with Kent County Council and supported by Highways England will be well received by the Department for Transport.”