Consultation opens on plans for North Thanet Link relief road

North Thanet Link relief road proposal

A public consultation  opens today (May 11) over plans to create a relief road and new walking and cycling infrastructure between Birchington, Acol, Westgate and Margate to the south of the existing A28 Canterbury Road.

The North Thanet Link aims to support the A28 highway corridor by improving journeys through a combination of new road links, road widening, junction improvements and new walking and cycling facilities.

Road users travelling on the A28 Canterbury Road corridor often experience high volumes of traffic. Kent County Council says without highway improvements the issues are likely to be made worse by future development, which will generate further traffic and travel demand on this stretch of road.

Due to the historic layout and space constraints, particularly through Birchington Square, there is limited opportunity to improve road capacity along the existing A28. An alternative highway route has been identified by KCC which is now consulting  on the details of the proposed scheme, including its aims and objectives, the route and current design.

North Thanet Link in red, Rest of Inner Circuit in blue

The North Thanet Link consists of:

  • A new highway link between A28 Canterbury Road and Manston Road.
  • A new highway link between Manston Road (near the junction with Shottendane Road) and Columbus Avenue, including the removal of access for motorised vehicles at the existing junction of Margate Hill and Manston Road.
  • Widening of the existing Manston Road and Shottendane Road along the existing highway alignment (including junction improvements).
  • A new highway link running parallel to the eastern section of Shottendane Road between High Street in Garlinge and Twenties Cottages on Shottendane Road.
  • New highway links between Hartsdown Road, Shottendane Road and Manston Road in Margate.
  • New and improved highway links will include off-road walking and cycling facilities with crossing facilities.

The total length of the proposed scheme is approximately 10 kilometres (just over 6 miles). Once constructed and opened, the scheme would be managed as part of KCC’s road network.

Consultation documents say: “Approximately 15,0003 vehicles per day currently travel on the A28 Canterbury Road between Birchington and Westgate-on-Sea. With forecast future traffic increases from both planned development and other background growth, this figure is likely to increase to around 18,000 vehicles per day by 2043. This represents an increase of approximately 20%.

“It is forecasted that the North Thanet Link will reduce future traffic increase on the A28 Canterbury Road by 2,500 vehicles per day, to 15,500 by 2043. This represents a reduction in future traffic increases to around 4%.

“There is significant development planned around the Manston Road and Shottendane Road. Currently there are around 7,5004 vehicles per day using the Shottendane Road corridor. This is forecast to increase to 11,000 vehicles per day by 2043.

“With the improvements proposed in the North Thanet Link scheme, it is expected that traffic flows on Shottendane Road will increase to 22,000 vehicles by 2043. This is because the new and improved route provides an alternative to the existing A28 and the Manston Road corridor between Margate and Spitfire Way.

“These forecasts do not account for any future provision of infrastructure improvements at Manston Road and Spitfire Way, which may lead to a redistribution of future traffic flows between Shottendane Road and Manston Road corridors.

“Without the North Thanet Link scheme improvements, it is expected that Acol Village will see a significant increase in traffic activity of 7,000 vehicles per day.”

The current estimated cost of the North Thanet Link scheme is approximately £60 million. It is anticipated that it will be delivered through either Department for Transport (DfT) funding to deliver the North Thanet Link scheme through the Major Road Network (MRN) funding stream providing 80-85% with the other 15-20% sourced from local developer contributions.

This option would mean the scheme would be delivered fully by KCC, in a single phase, across a two-year period.

Or, option 2, is the required highway improvements would be delivered through a combination of new highway infrastructure (by developers) within planned development sites and financial contributions from developers.

Delivery would then take place over a longer period and be dictated by the pace at which strategic development sites are delivered.

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier said: “North Thanet Link is designed to manage traffic pressure on the busy A28, reduce traffic within Acol village, improve journey times, road safety and provide better facilities for walking and cycling.

“The change in population expected in the east of the county means we need to prepare for growth and it is essential we can continue to keep Kent moving.

“The views expressed in this public consultation will help us to develop KCC’s plans as we prepare our Outline Business Case to the DfT.”

Have your say:

You can provide feedback by completing the consultation questionnaire

Or at consultation drop-in events:

The Westgate-on-Sea Town Council Offices w drop-in session on Monday 15th May between 3pm and 6pm

The Centre, Alpha Road, Birchington, drop in on June 1, 3pm-7pm

If you would like to request paper copies of the consultation materials, or if you have any questions email: [email protected]  or call 03000 422 331

Consultation closes on June 14


  1. Maybe you should of built this road 5 years ago. The houses will be built long before the road. Bit like building a house then realising we forgot the foundations.

  2. Make no mistake,this road is purely a conniving smoke and mirrors scheme to facilitate more housing on the farmland of Thanet,discussions and plans will be well advanced and these consultations are purely paying lip service to members of the public who bother to attend but I’d imagine barely any will.
    This road spells the end for Thanet as we know it and the Thanet of the future will be an urban sprawl of 50k more residents,25k more cars,all thanks to government, developers and the local authority and its officers who allow it to happen,last one out,please turn off the lights!!

    • It certainly does appear to be a means of providing better access to the remaining rural area of Thanet to provide better access for housing development.

      Alternatively, perhaps, it provides additional and better access to Manston Airport for both freight and passengers.

      (Lights blue touch-paper and retires).

  3. How about making part of Sea Road in Westgate one way and adding cycle lane. So many cars coming down there now instead of using A28. It doesnt even save time, its just a nicer drive where you dont need to use your brain much to stop and start at lights etc.

    • There’s already cycle lanes on Sea Road in Westgate. The traffic around there isn’t bad, even at peak times, with no backlogs and constant flow. Making it one way would take that traffic and redistribute on to the smaller, single lane(cars parked both sides) side roads as it has in other places where one way systems have been implemented.

      • Yes, what I should have said was where it would be made one way to have proper cycle lane that couldn’t be parked in. I’m not saying the whole of Sea Road by the way.

        You think people would start driving down other roads in Westgate then? What route would you take for example if they made the part between Epple Bay and West Bay one way?

      • Sorry, I should have said the one way part would have a proper cycle lane, wider, and that cannot be parked in. There is constant flow but I wouldn’t expect anything less on that type road, there are more cars than there should be though, and there have been quite a few accidents in last few years.

        What are the narrow roads you would use instead of A28, if for example Epple Bay to West Bay was made one way?

    • How about finishing off the sea wall between Westgate Bay and Epple Bay so that bikes can use that instead. It would be lovely to cycle between Margate and Herne Bay without going on the road.

  4. How many years has a Birchington/Westgate by-pass been “talked” about, but nothing has ever been done? 20/30 years? At least!
    I believe, when initial talks started, it would have cost thousands of £’s – now, it will cost millions of £’s.
    Cure? Stop talking – take action… get it done!

    • Try ~55 years. I remember the plan back in the 1960s (which was a lot better then this one if I remember correctly) which wasn’t delivered. While needed, this plan is woefully inadequate and shortsighted. I will respond, not that I think they will take any notice, as if we don’t say something they wil claim that we all agree with it.

  5. This road should have been built 5 years ago for the current level of traffic. I hate to think how many houses will be built along this road and will probably become inadequate very quickly for the new traffic levels 😕

    • It was on the cards in late 1950’s got part way then stopped and went into the old road. Same as all the other Road projects that were started and never finished.
      West Dumpton Lane to Pysons Road, Sterling Way and out to Haine Road.
      Dane Valley Road through to St Peter’s.

  6. The fair accompli continues.
    Bye bye prime agricultural land.
    Hello metropolitan overspill. Again.
    Thanet already has less green space than any other district in Kent.

    Having voted townie Labour in there’s going to be a lot more of this from your Council.

    • As long as they’re not shared cycle/pedestrian paths. I’d rather cycle on a busy road than dodge people and their dogs!

  7. More expensive new roads that will quickly fill up and grind to a halt and the old roads will still be full.

    Makes the people that have shares in the road building companies rich though.

    Most of them are the ones that sign off on the said roads.

    Nice little earner

  8. The link to Minnis Road straight through farmland is a precursor to concreting the entire farmland either side. Only saves on traffic flow to and from the coast in summer from going through the square.

  9. Yes I fully agree with this plan it’s in preparation of Manston Airport reopening and rightly so just as Park way rail station has has been built for the same reason. With all the new construction it will help to bring the roads up to date. It’s bitterly disappointing
    for the tree hugging Greens they were hoping for the horse and cart days would be brought back.

  10. KCC should be spending money on making public transport in Kent much, much better- not on pandering to the motorist and causing yet more damage to public health and the environment. “If you build it, they will come”- and this would happen if this new road were to be built: gridlock, just like there is on existing roads.

    Marva Rees

  11. Yet another money wasting consultation. TDC and KCC are very good at time wasting and money wasting consultations that are simply of no use. Just build it. This has been talked about for over 30 years and nothing ever gets done. The A28 into margate is inadequate at the best of times and almost a very long static attraction at worst.
    Time to modernise but no lets see what the people want yet again. Makes me laugh. Useless councils.
    For those against the extra housing, you are wasting your breath. Thanet will become a concrete jungle anyway.

  12. No hint of any improvement to Nash Road to connect with roads around Westwood Cross, improving access to the North Thanet Link from the Broadstairs, which this scheme seems to ignore. Nash Road is extremely dangerous, especially small sections of it have now been widened and many people drive too fast. Are there already plans in place for the widening/straightening of Nash Road? Any answers to this?

  13. Unless it is a continuation of the wide dual carriageway it will make no difference to the congestion we already suffer Within days of it opening.
    What should be happening is getting the number of houses down for new developments in Thanet because it is already over-populated.
    TDC should, like other authorities, be making huge reductions on the amount of homes needed over the course of the Local Plan period. It is being done in other areas that were under government pressure to commit to high numbers, even Boris admitted the housing scheme was far fetched.
    Save what is left of our fields for growing the crops for the future so less reliance is made on expensive imports.

  14. I would have thought that Haine Rd should have something done about it with the hundreds of houses being built along there, also Westwood Rd needs a thought before a major project .What happen at the end of Shottendane Rd does it lead to coffin house corner another current conjested area. I am sure there are many places need looking at before this is even looked at

    • Ban all cycling along the sea wall to Reculver , if not start prosecuting the speed idiots who don’t have bells or common sense, it’s supposed to be a footpath not a race track. By the way the by pass of Birchington and Westgate was proposed in the fifties before the Canterbury Rd was a dual carriage way.

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