Plans have been announced to build an eastern bypass in Canterbury that will link Sturry Road to the A2.
Kent County Council and Canterbury City Council have both said how they intended to build the bypass despite it not being included in the current transport strategy.
It comes as Canterbury’s roads are stretched to breaking point with thousands of new homes planned for the city over the next few years.
The Liberal Democrats have welcomed the news and have been at the forefront of campaigning for a solution to the city’s traffic problems.
Lib Dem group leader Michael Dixey said: “Although the decision has been taken too late to avoid needless legal costs, we encourage the council to prioritise work on the bypass. Building new roads presents its own set of hurdles to overcome. It may be some time before ground is broken.
“The bypass must be open before the new developments and their associated traffic movements create city-wide gridlock.
“Currently all we’ve seen are words and platitudes. The council’s reputation is on the line if they fail to deliver what they have promised in a timely fashion.”
The bypass comes as huge housing developments have been granted permission by the council, including the 4,000 house Mountfield Park site in south Canterbury.
Professor Stephen Peckham, Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent is worried that there hasn’t been enough thought to the impact of the new developments springing up around Canterbury.
He said: “If you look at the local district plan that was approved there is no assessment of what the impact of a development will be on air quality. Nobody has done any assessment of what will happen if you build 15,000 houses.”
“We’ve got a development in Sturry, what air quality monitoring was done for that from a council that wants to build three times as many parking spaces at the station so that it can future proof a 3% increase in parking over the next 30 odd years.
“So the council doesn’t seem to have its policies lined up.”