Chancellor, please tackle traffic at Brenley Corner

Brenley corner is not fit for purpose. The terrible traffic is not just annoying – making people late for work and children late for school, delaying deliveries and even holding up ambulances – it’s holding Kent back.

I made these points in my meeting with the Chancellor, and asked him to invest in Brenley Corner when he makes his Autumn Statement.

Our economy can’t grow unless infrastructure is up to scratch. As the vast majority of road freight passes through Kent, this is a national issue, not just a local one. Traffic on this part of the network has increased by 43% over the last 15 years, but the roundabout has been left virtually unchanged since it was built. It’s widely acknowledged that the junction is poorly designed, requiring traffic travelling along the main M2-A2 route to go round the roundabout rather than flowing straight through. The resulting congestion means that 15 minute journeys can take up to an hour at peak times. The new houses planned for the area and the proposed Lower Thames Crossing will increase pressure on this part of the road network, so action is needed now. At the very least, we need the formal business case for improving the junction to be done, as the basis for securing funding for the actual work.

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has applied for funding of £783,490 towards the cost of a business case. If this is secured, this work will provide the basis for applying for the funding to upgrade the junction, estimated to cost £75 million.

He assured me that the situation at Brenley corner is under consideration and I left the meeting feeling optimistic that we may see some action soon. This is now firmly on the Government’s agenda, and I will keep pushing to secure the funding we need to make sure Kent’s infrastructure is fit for the future.