25 SEP 2013

Greg Clark secures meeting with Asda's Chief Executive to broker deal on North Farm road scheme

Greg has secured a meeting with the Chief Executive of Asda, Andy Clarke, next month to ask them to relent on their refusal to release a small amount of land and so cause the loss of a new cycleway through North Farm. Asda is the only company that has not yet agreed to provide land - essential for the road widening – which will compromise the scheme.

Greg commented:

"The traffic congestion around North Farm Industrial Estate is notorious so we were all delighted when, earlier this year, the Department for Transport and Kent County Council agreed to fund a major road improvement scheme. It was one of only 10 schemes in the country to win this funding. However, there is now a major spanner in the works as Asda is refusing to participate in the project, even though it will be of major benefit to all the businesses based on North Farm. Although the scheme can go ahead without Asda, it certainly won't be as good. The carriageways will have to be narrower and the planned cycleway will be lost. Asda prides itself on being community minded so I am extremely disappointed with its intransigent position. This is why I have asked the Chief Executive to meet with me so that he fully understands the impact of Asda's actions."

In March this year, the Department for Transport announced that it would provide £3.5m funding towards a £5m scheme to improve the road system on the North Farm Industrial Estate. Kent County Council (KCC) agreed to contribute £1.5m towards the project.

In order to qualify for the funding, the scheme must be completed by March 2015 and relies on landowners agreeing to release a few metres of land. Every landowner, apart from Asda, has agreed to participate in the project.

The proposed scheme aims to improve existing highway capacity by:

  • widening Longfield Road between Dowding Way Roundabout and the A21 Roundabout
  • introducing a new roundabout at Kingstanding Way/Longfield Road junction
  • introducing a new roundabout to replace T-junction at Knights Park /Longfield Road junction
  • providing a gyratory style junction at Great Lodge/Longfield Road junction

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