Axe the M20 Smart Motorway scheme

Natalie Elphicke called in Parliament for a debate on road investment in Kent and urged the Chancellor Sajid Javid to axe the “dangerous” Smart Motorway project on the M20.

Asking her first ever question in Parliament to Leader of the Commons The Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Natalie said the issue was major concern not just for the people of east Kent, but for the beating economic heart of our whole nation.

Natalie is calling for A2 dualling to be completed, the Whitfield roundabout to have more capacity and the lorry parks we were long ago promised to be delivered.

Natalie has also written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, calling on him to axe the “dangerous” Smart Motorway scheme on the M20. A reduced speed limit remains in place between Junctions 3 and 5 during works to install a Smart Motorway – where the hard shoulder is used as an extra lane during periods of busy traffic.

Natalie is worried because on January 4, two lorry drivers lost their lives on the southbound carriageway of the M1 between junctions 13 and 12 – a section recently upgraded to Smart Motorway status. And at least five people are said to have died on smart motorways elsewhere in the UK. On October Highways England said they would put a hold on new schemes as they are “too complicated” for drivers.

Yet works on the M20, estimated to cost around £92 million, are still going ahead. So Natalie wrote to the Chancellor saying that if Smart Motorways are not good enough to justify new schemes, they can’t be good enough for the people of Kent. Kent’s roads are too important for the local and national economy to be guinea pigs for experimental traffic systems.

Natalie says the £92 million would be better spent delivering much needed upgrades to Kent’s road network

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