Planning application for North Thanet Link Road expected by end of the year

North Thanet Link relief road proposal

By Local Democracy Reporter Simon Finlay

A planning application for the long-awaited North Thanet Link Road could be lodged later this year and completed before the end of 2028.

A recent meeting of the Joint Transport Board (JTB) was given an outline of the timeframe going forward after Kent County County Council gave the estimated £60m project the nod.

But the A28 Canterbury Road scheme will be subject to changes after a public consultation and may be influenced by the needs of Thanet council’s housing and development requirements.

Local concerns remain that the North Thanet Link will simply attract more traffic rather than ease congestion at pinch points.

County Councillor Barry Lewis

Thanet KCC member, Cllr Barry Lewis said: “My personal concern is that the premise of building new roads does not solve traffic problems, it makes them worse.

“Look at the M25 and the Newbury by-pass. As soon as they were built, they filled up. People will travel further to get on it and it will just fill up.

“It will not take traffic away from Westwood Cross which is a real problem area.”

According to KCC, the link road “seeks to support the A28 highway corridor by improving local journeys through a combination of new road links, road widening, junction improvements and new walking and cycling facilities”.

Last year the council wrote: “Road users travelling on the A28 Canterbury Road corridor often experience high volumes of traffic, which can result in congestion and road safety concerns.

“The busy nature of this road, along with the type of traffic using it regularly, can act as a deterrent to pedestrians and cyclists as it creates an intimidating environment for non-car users.

“Without highway improvements these issues are likely to be made worse by future development, which will generate further traffic and travel demand on this stretch of road.”

Cllr Lewis warned: “The road will make the land more attractive to developers – let’s put it that way. I accept that we need more houses as long as they are affordable and not at the expense of prime farmland.”

North Thanet Link in red (before recommended changes), Rest of Inner Circuit in blue

Specific changes have been included after listening to feedback from the public. They are:

  • These include extra crossings walkers, cyclists and horse riders and a footway/cycleway on Shottendane Road to the south of the proposed corridor.
  • There will be a revised roundabout design for the A28 junction including pedestrian and cycle crossings; realignment of the Columbus Avenue link (to Manston Road) “to reflect emerging development proposals and to lessen the impact on operational farmland”.
  • It is anticipated there will be changes to road alignment and geometry at the eastern extent of the scheme to reflect latest development proposals and a widening of junction approach lanes to take increased flows of traffic.
  • The number of approach arms at the proposed junction with Manston Road/Shottendane Road and Columbus Avenue extension will be cut.
  • A shared footway/cycleway to the north side of Manston Road next to the boundary of Quex Park will be relocated.

Ground and environmental surveys will take place this spring and summer before a planning application is lodged in the fourth quarter of 2024 or early next year, say papers submitted to the JTB.

The documents add: “Early-stage land acquisition discussions will continue into next year when a compulsory purchase order (CPO) process is likely to be commenced in order to secure scheme programme (subject to planning consent being granted).

“Following land acquisition and scheme tendering, a full business case (FBC) will be submitted to DfT and a decision will be made on scheme funding by DfT.

“A FBC is the final part of the process and is normally undertaken after land and scheme tendering has been completed and the scheme is ready for delivery.”

The JTB noted a report but asked its author, KCC project manager James Wraight, to attend the next scheduled meeting.

Plans for North Thanet Link relief road


  1. Surely this will just ‘bung up’ the Coffin House Corner area (which I hear will be turned into a roundabout) leading to Victoria Traffic lights, especially when Nash Lane is closed.

  2. How about stop building the huge volume of houses that local people wont be buying. Less houses, less traffic, less congestion.

    • Building… over-development… none of which is for local need is the problem. TDC importing dross from London is the sole cause of the traffic problems in Thanet (together with the 20mph traffic disruption scheme which causes tailbacks every single day).

      Has no-one done the math? The map shows a FURTHER 9000+ new houses to be built and will turn Thanet into little more than a car park.

      Why this totally unnecessary over-development? 9000 house at £250,000 each (minimum) = two and a quarter BILLION pounds… and with that amount of dosh floating around I suspect there is plenty available to grease palms.

      • Alex,
        It’s ‘maths’ in this country. The Yanks leave the ‘s’ off, for some reason.
        Other than that, I quite agree with what you say.and dread living in a constant traffic jam.

    • “How about stop building the huge volume of houses that local people wont be buying.”

      Logically, grammatically and sensibly…

      If they buy a house here, they’re local.

      You do realise League of Gentleman ended years ago, don’t you Tubbs?

  3. ‘KCC project manager James Wright has been asked to attend the next meeting ‘.Good luck with that one.
    Barry Lewis is correct, more roads,means more traffic and more poor quality ribbon development.
    How much of Thanet should be zoned for
    development? 20%? 50%? More?
    How do we stop this Panjandrum of thoughtlessly derived urban sprawl, certainly elections don’t seem to have any effect.

      • It’s exactly what it means ‘someone who has great or even overwhelming influence ‘ ie the big 12 housebuilders or you can go with the rocket propelled Catherine wheel that Churchill’s boffins devised to blow up beach obstacles and that didn’t work either.

  4. Thanet is being over developed, it will not be long before it becomes so gridlocked, Westwood Cross will close down through lack of custom and it will revert back to the days pre Westwood Cross when people travelled to Canterbury. Let’s face it, Westwood has little to offer compared to when it first opened.

    • Have you been to Canteerbury lately? There’s even less there than Thanet (whenever Ms. Pink needs a bit of retail therapy, she jumps on a train to Bromley!).

    • ” it will not be long before it becomes so gridlocked, ”

      Mate, even at peak times, when Thanet is full of roadworks and temp lights, you can cross one side to the other in less than 20 minutes.

      People moaned with the same level of rhetoric before WWX opened. Traffic still flows freely…you can check googlemaps before travelling to see which roads are busy and adjust your routes, also…

  5. Am i reading the route right and that all the traffic on that road will ne going right through the middle of manston business park? The main road through it doesn’t seem particularly large and surely will be a regular pinch point.

  6. Which will go first. Birchington Vale caravan park or Quex Caravan Park. My guess is Birchington Vale. USA investors have to provide a profit for shareholders.

  7. The idea is good, but it must go further to extend beyond Coffin Corner along a wider Nash Rd to WWX.
    Cllr Barry Lewis clearly doesn’t drive much .

    • You’re right, his comments were stupid. “people will drive further just to get on it” blokes a fool.

      • Sadly, there are very few people who use cars AND buses AND trains AND cycle AND walk. I do all 5 to get around Thanet and beyond (albeit as a non-driver), so I am the true voice of experience!

        • Do I care about traffic pollution,in Thanet, it’s not either here or there,.The government and TDC certainly don’t.If you build 15000 house ,that could be 20000 plus cars and in a generation that doubles or trebles,and another generation another 20000 cars ,so my one car doesn’t matter in the great scheme of things, .As long as the houses keep coming

          • “As long as the houses keep coming”

            Where do you want them to go, Ray, besides “not in my backyard”?

      • This plan does not live up to ots title A RELIEF ROAD, relief roads are supposed to take traffic AWAY from major pinch points, this scheme directs traffic into and through Westwood cross. The solution is better and more frequent bus services especially at peak times including the school run, while millions of pounds is spent on more NEW roads , cutting bus services is wrong. Also kcc can’t maintain road surfaces on existing roads in Thanet meaning potholes are rampant around our towns

  8. Appreciate we need the infrastructure, but when all the gaps in between the roads are filled up with developments, as they often do, the conjoined towns can then apply to become the City of Thanet, just as One State said. I trust the environmental impact reports will be taken on board, let’s hope they make plenty of parks and open spaces instead, otherwise its a recipe for an even greater mental health crisis, not mention irreversible damage to nature and the environment.

  9. As usual … poorly thought out and Barry is absolutely spot on .. this will NOT help the traffic. This lot need a brain !!

  10. Lived in Thanet for over 50 years, I think the time has come to move elsewhere because it’s going to be unbearable with all this going on. Such a shame, it used to be a great place to live, not anymore.RIP Thanet

    • Sadly, everywhere else that used to be worth living in is going the same way. Where is all the traffic arriving at the required Hartsdown Road junction being directed to? Back on to the current A28 outside the Sea Bathing at yet another set of traffic lights or added to the traffic that already heads towards Coffin Corner through the regular ‘pond’?

  11. It pains me to say this but Ms Pink is bang on the money.Walking, cycling,public transport of any kind causes less congestion than a car.One bus , depending on it’s size, can replace upto 50 cars with a single occupant.Buses don’t need parking spaces,which adds to the urban sprawl and increases localised warming of the environment.
    For all the ballyhoo of the car lobby, cars are cheaper to run than they have ever been,whereas bus and train passengers have to pay a large part of the cost of the railways and buses.
    Taxation on SUVs in the UK is one of the lowest in Europe.
    Perhaps we should be given a choice, low fares and frequent services everywhere by public transport, and road pricing for private cars with an additional levy for SUVs. It will never happen.

    • Buses currently have a £2 maximum fare per journey (Margate to Canterbury on the number 8 was pushing £7 previously), and plenty of pensioners with free travel still drive eeverywhere – yet buses are still more often than not half-empty. So, clearly fare prices isn’t always the issue, and nor are Thanet’s many drivers struggling financially as much as they claim.

      • “So, clearly fare prices isn’t always the issue”


        Reliability. Behaviour of other passengers. Over crowding at peak times. Personal hygiene of other passengers. Open consumption of drugs/drink. Drivers not reigning in the behaviour of unruly kids. All why I will always drive everywhere until I’m unfit to.

  12. As a disabled person ,my car is fine for me.Yes I could get a bus, there on a couple of spaces on a bus for disabled people,most are taken up by able bodied people ,try asking them to move and you get a mouthful,or they are taken young mums with children. So I gave up using buses quite a few years ago

    • Ray the bread. I have experienced the same problem – often. The young are the worst, they often do not give a damn and cannot, or will not, read the signs.

        • It’s not that easy ,first ,yes the driver should do that, but most will not,don’t get paid enough for the trouble,two passengers get fed up and moan because of the hold up and third drivers get a right royal rollicking if the are late .Much easier to take a car and no stress involved

        • No I don’t,until the government and the local council stop building more houses.15000 more house could easily equate to 30000 more cars,

        • Don’t you care about adding to the pollution, given the average MPG of a bus engine and diesel particulate being worse than petrol particulates?

  13. We done need more developments in the Thanet area the new houses are popping up everywhere and it’s becoming a joke. Leave the road alone why fix something that isn’t broken. The reason for the congestion over the last few weeks is because of bloody road works. People couldn’t travel anywhere in Thanet without bumping into temporary lights. Use the money on fixing the roads that need repairing as most if the roads in Thanet are littered with pot holes. Most of the recent houses that have built haven’t been sold to local people and there also built so poorly that no one is stupid enough to buy one. Kent is ment to be the garden if England not a concrete jungle leave nature as it is.

    • “Most of the recent houses that have built haven’t been sold to local people”

      Except, using your brain, you’ll realise that once someone buys a house in the local area and live in it, they’re locals too. This isn’t Royston Vasey…

      “there also built so poorly that no one is stupid enough to buy one.”

      They’re not built THAT poorly, as sales figures show.

  14. If one accepts that development is inevitable, then at least do a half decent job of the bypass (link road) and extend the dual carriage way from Brooksend directly to Manston Road. The proposed roundabout at the top of Brooksend Hill is just a poorly hidden cash handout to the greedy developers which won’t help Thanetians get anywhere quicker.

  15. And any developer building alongside Shottendane should pay to upgrade the adjacent section to dual carriageway.

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