19 July 2017
The Government is being called upon to back a bid to improve the local road network at Junction 7 of the M20 in Maidstone in order to reduce traffic congestion and speed up the creation of new jobs at Kent Medical Campus.
Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council have together bid for £4m to the Government’s National Productivity Investment Fund, supported by a further £1.5m contribution from Kent Medical Campus.
If approved it would fund the upgrading of the two roundabouts close to Junction 7 of the M20 at Bearsted Road and New Cut Road, stimulate new jobs at Kent Medical Campus, part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone, and support residential development in the area.
The Councils had had previously backed a bid into the Government’s Local Growth Fund to improve Junction 7; but nationally the fund was four times oversubscribed and the bid lost out to priorities in other parts of the country.
Councillor 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.”
With Kent Medical Campus earmarked as an Enterprise Zone site by the Government and able to provide financial incentives to companies choosing to invest there, the Maidstone site has already seen a significant rise in the number of enquiries.
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