Written by MP for Dover and Deal, Kent

This week marked a major step forward in essential work to improve our local road network.

In 2020, I got a place in the national road program for the A2 upgrade.

Since then I have worked hard with the National Highways project team on this work – meeting with them regularly, so that they understand the vital importance of the roads to all of us in Dover and Deal.

This week the next step was announced, namely a consultation to test community support for the investment and possible routes.

It will always be an uphill battle to secure the A2 upgrade.

So Cllr Trevor Bartlett as Leader of Dover District Council, Cllr Roger Gough as Leader of Kent County Council and myself as MP have come together so that we can do all we can, at all levels , to make the case for investment A2. we need so much.

The developments of the A2 road also have a national strategic objective as well as a local objective. Dover is uniquely placed to have not one, but two motorways leading directly to the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel, which together account for around 60% of all trade with Europe.

It is in the national interest to keep these roads resilient, strong and flowing. It is also in our local interest.

I have long been a tireless campaigner for ‘Keep Dover Clear’. This is why I also insist on upstream work, before any A2 upgrades, to improve the Whitfield roundabout.

Work is also needed to improve the Duke of York roundabout to reduce congestion from Deal to Dover. The recent tragic death at Whitfield and the need to make the A258 as safe as possible reinforces the importance of this work.

The Keep Dover Clear campaign applies to all of Dover and Deal. The TAP traffic control system on the A20 approach to Dover is intended to prevent lorries blocking the city of Dover. It works and has been so much better for the city than some of the old days.

But TAP comes at a cost – the toll on the community of Aycliffe, where noise, litter and honking are a real problem. Some residents cannot sleep properly when TAP is on.

It was supposed to be a temporary solution in 2015, following the infamous three-day long queues. It has now become final. I insisted that he be moved back. This has been reviewed and would require further work on the A20 to achieve this.

The A2 upgrade will provide greater capacity and resiliency on the A20/M20.

I will continue to push for the TAP to change and for better day-to-day controls so we don’t see rat-running through Capel-Le-Ferne or towards the A2.

There is plenty to do on the roads. It will be a real struggle to secure funding when national finances are again constrained. I will continue to advocate for short and long term investments in our roads.

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