Labour County Councillor for Swale Central in Sittingbourne, Roger Truelove, says he fears that the ruling administrations on Kent County Council and Swale Borough Council have a strategy of constructive delay when it comes to completing the Northern Relief Road from East Hall to Bapchild, to the east of Sittingbourne.
This follows a question by Mr Truelove to the Cabinet Member for Economic Development on KCC, Mark Dance, at last week’s Full County Council meeting.
“The Tories on KCC appear to be supporting the Swale Borough Council view that the Northern Relief Road cannot be completed before the adoption of a complementary route from the A2 at Bapchild to the M2 somewhere between Stockbury and Faversham, the so called Southern Relief Road. I am afraid this is a recipe for constructive delay. These infrastructure investments need to be taken one at a time to be successful. The SBC and KCC approach means that the Northern Relief Road can be held up indefinitely by any funding or public consultation problems on the Southern route. It means that a time when Government is talking about infrastructure investment, no one can raise the case for the Northern road. I know that the Tories are under pressure from their constituents in Teynham and Ospringe but I would like them to show a lot more regard for the people of Sittingbourne. The Northern Relief Road is essential for the economic growth of the area.”
This apparent link between the two routes has been talked about for the last two years. It was therefore alarming to hear from Mr Dance that practically no work has been done on the Southern Route.