Agenda item

KCC response to the Department for Transport's 'Shaping the Future of England's Strategic Roads' consultation on Highways England's 'Strategic Road Network Initial Report'

To consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste on the draft Kent County Council response to the consultation.


Joseph Ratcliffe (Transport strategy Manager) was in attendance for this item.


  1. Mr M Whiting (Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste) introduced the report that outlined Kent County Council’s draft response to the Department for Transport’s (DFT) ‘Shaping the future of England’s Strategic Roads’ consultation on Highways England’s ‘Strategic Network Initial Report.’ The draft response set out KCC’s position on the proposals and outlined Kent specific projects on the Strategic Road Network needed to support growth, including the new Lower Thames Crossing and the enhancements needed on the M2/A2 corridor, a solution to operation stack and various motorway improvements.


  1. In response to questions and comments the officer provided further information


a.    Joseph Ratcliffe (Transport strategy Manager) agreed to amend Appendix A of the report to reflect the two separate roundabouts:


·         Duke of York roundabout – on the A2, at the junction of the A258

·         Whitfield roundabout – on the hill of the A256


b.    In response to Members concerns regarding the Dover Traffic Assessment Project (TAP) on the A2, Joseph Ratcliffe said that Kent County Council needed to strengthen its response to the consultation to help inform governments decisions. In response to the Local Authority’s main ‘A Roads’ there would be a separate consultation on the proposed Major Road Network (MRN) and this was due to be reported on at the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee in March 2018.


c.    Joseph Ratcliffe said that there was a freight action plan that had been adopted by the Council in 2016 that set out five key aims. Kent’s position as a strategic gateway for Europe meant that the Strategic Road Network (SRN) in Kent had a disproportionate volume of freight compared to other areas and Brexit would require infrastructure investment to maintain freight fluidity. There was a Roadside Facilities Fund that had been proposed by Highways England and KCC have requested that lorry parking facilities should be incorporated within the SRN.


d.    In response to the Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) audit survey, Joseph Ratcliffe confirmed that an updated survey had been released in September 2017 and that statistics showed that there was between 800 to 900 lorries per night, parked in unofficial spaces.


e.    Mr M Whiting (Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste) informed Members that the north side of the A249 was already incorporated within the SRN, KCC in its response had proposed that the west side of the A249, Detling Hill and Bluebell Hill, also be included within the SRN. Schemes such as the Leeds and Langley Relief Road were not included within either of the consultations however they would be consulted upon as part of the new development proposals in the future.


f.     Mr M Whiting said that there was a large discrepancy in the funding ratio and that Highways England received £50 to KCC’s £1. Therefore, the proposal had been made to transfer all roads under the MRN into Highway England’s remit and this would in turn increase the amount of money available to KCC and ensure roads were better maintained.


  1. Prior to the conclusion of the Committee discussion, Mr M Whybrow (Councillor for Hythe West) reminded Members that he objected to the recommendations as set out in the report as he did not endorse the response given in relation to the new Lower Thames Crossing or the Operation Stack Lorry Park.


  1. RESOLVED that the Cabinet Committee endorsed the proposed recommendation to the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste on the draft Kent County Council response to the consultation.


Supporting documents: