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Road to regeneration

Date: 24/06/2008           Category: Medway Renaissance

Medway Council’s Cabinet today approved a major programme of road improvements for Chatham and agreed the precise location for a new multi-million pound bus station. Cabinet also agreed the principle of using compulsory purchase powers to secure land needed for the works. The revised bus station plan will lead to an INCREASE in open space at the area known as The Paddock. Plans will minimise loss of trees. Any trees removed will be replaced. The lengthy and complex road improvements will be scheduled to create the minimum possible disruption to trade, especially in the run up to Christmas this year. Phase-one of the Chatham road scheme – the two-way system – opened in September 2006. Today Cabinet approved phase-two. This is the sequence of key works: · Demolition of the Sir John Hawkins flyover early next year and the construction of a bus and taxi route along Sir John Hawkins Way · Improvements to Manor Road · Junction improvements and extra capacity for Union Street · Construction starts of new bus station on Globe Lane · Widening of Gibraltar Hill · Widening of The Brook in three stages: (1) between Slicketts Hill and Queen Street (2) between Queen Street and Medway Magistrates Court (3) between King Street and Globe Lane It is being financed by central government through the Communities and Local Government department (CLG), though part of the scheme may be funded by private sector developer contributions. Leader of Medway Council Cllr Rodney Chambers, said: “Our success in attracting Thames Gateway funding from CLG and massive investment from the private sector means that Medway is firmly on course to become the new river city of the south-east, with Chatham at its centre. “The two-year programme of works we have approved today will give Chatham the robust road system and vastly improved bus service that it needs for the years of expansion and investment that lie ahead. “Like all major change, it will mean disruption but the works will be carefully scheduled to keep that disruption to the minimum. “It is a price well worth paying. This is the road to regeneration. The great ambitions for Chatham’s three main regeneration zones – Chatham Waterfront, The Brook and the Station Gateway - cannot be achieved without it.” The masterplans for those three regeneration zones go to Cabinet for adoption on July 15. Newsdesks: for background and further information, see attached report to today’s Cabinet Ends