A new junction is to be built on the M20 near Ashford in Kent after the £104 million project was granted development consent.
The new junction 10a will serve communities and businesses around Ashford and is designed to relieve pressure on the existing junction 10.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the decision in a letter to the Planning Inspectorate on December 1, who reviewed the plans last winter. This news paves the way for construction work to begin early next year.
Chris Welby-Everard, regional delivery director for Highways England in the South East said: “This major new motorway junction is the biggest boost for Ashford since the arrival of international rail services nearly 20 years ago. Junction 10a will unlock job-creating developments in the local area and will take pressure off the existing junction 10. It will bring jobs, better infrastructure for local services and help maintain the quality of life in and around Ashford.
“Without Junction 10a in place, future economic growth would have been constrained. Today’s news will bring real confidence that we will have the road capacity needed to enable a major programme of economic and commercial development and house building.”
Junction 10a will be constructed about half a mile south of the existing junction 10. It will use two bridges and connect to the existing A20 and a new dual carriageway link road built to the A2070 near Sevington.
Work on the improvements will begin early next year and the new junction is expected to open to traffic in 2019.