Urging road chiefs to tackle traffic

I have urged council chiefs to tackle traffic levels between Dover and Deal. I invited Kent County Council's transport supremo Cllr Mike Whiting and his team to Deal – so they could see for themselves how busy the A258 is.

At least 10,000 vehicles travel along the road every day – causing congestion and pollution. In the past six years alone there have been 100 accidents on the A258.

I met with Cllr Whiting, cabinet member for planning, highways, transport and waste, and his officers on Friday, May 11, explaining how many residents think a dualled spur from the A256 to connect to Middle Deal and the North End should be built. Cllr Whiting took the arguments on board – and his council officers said any new road would have to be included Dover District Council transport model.

The A258 is creaking under the huge level of traffic using the road every day. This, along with several blind corners on the route, is making the road dangerous for drivers. What's more, studies show that air pollution near Deal Castle is now worse than in some parts of central London. It's no surprise so many residents tell me that a dualled spur from the A256 to connect Middle Deal and the North End makes sense. Deal is a great place – yet it would be greater still with less traffic and less pollution in the town centre.

Research carried out by local campaign group Deal With It found nitrogen dioxide levels on the A258 measured 52.9 micrograms per cubic metre. The EU's legal limit is 40. They were taking readings near Deal Castle as part of an air quality study by Friends of the Earth. The reading was the only one in east Kent to exceed the legal limit.

A total of 228 crashes have taken place on the A258 since 2003, including more than 100 between 2010 and 2016. Over the last 15 years, 18 accidents have resulted in serious injuries. Five have been fatal.