Highways England is making good progress with upgrades on the A2-M2 corridor to improve links to Medway and Kent, and the preferred routes for the A2 Bean and Ebbsfleet junction upgrades were announced in 2017.
I thank the Minister for that answer. Given the impressive growth and regeneration that Medway has seen over the past 20 years and will continue to see, I thank the Government for the £6 billion lower Thames crossing. Will the Minister confirm that the supporting local highways infrastructure programme will go along with the project so that areas such as Medway can fully benefit?
As my hon. Friend will be aware, the lower Thames crossing is a transformational strategic road project with enormous benefits to Medway and to the region as a whole. We announced the preferred route last year, and we are now developing it further. On the local transport side, it is worth noting that the South East local enterprise partnership has secured nearly £600 million of funding from local growth funds, supporting around 30 transport schemes in Kent and Medway, in order to support the area’s continued economic growth.
Last week there was a horrific crash in my constituency in which a car ran into a parked lorry. Three men have died and one is seriously injured. I am not attributing blame, as we do not know exactly what happened, but the Minister will know that lorry parking is a long-running problem in my area of Kent. Will he meet me and representatives of Kent County Council, drivers and lorry parks to see what we can do to speed up the provision of increased lorry parking?
I am very sorry to hear the news of the crash last week. I would be delighted, as always, to meet my hon. Friend and Kent County Council. She should know this is a topic of great interest to me and the Department. Indeed, I met freight operators only this week in part to discuss these very issues.