A299 Thanet Way

We will be reconstructing part of the carriageway of the A299 Thanet Way to fix the poor ride quality caused by ground movement under the road.

We will be reconstructing the carriageway of the A299 Thanet Way on the eastbound (coastbound) side of the carriageway, between the off-slip from the A299 to Whitstable and the on-slip from Whitstable to the A299.

We will excavate the road to a significant depth and rebuild it with a much stronger construction, using specialist geotextile materials, different sized aggregates and multiple layers of asphalt.

For several years, sections of the A299 Thanet Way have developed a poor ride quality caused by ground movement in the underlying clay subsoil of the road. The hot summers and wet winters we have experienced have led to an increase in this movement, causing the underlying soils to expand and contract.

We have previously tried to address these problems once they reach a hazardous level by renewing the upper layers of the road surface, between 40mm and 150mm, dependent on the severity. These overnight works resolve the immediate problem, but they are not cost-effective in the long term as hot or wet weather can cause the issue to return, and we are also restricted on the amount of work we can carry out in a night shift so that we can re-open the road each morning. The financial strain caused by repeat visits is not sustainable.

During the last 2 years, we have carried out deep ground investigations. We used surveys and excavation of trial pits to record, photograph and take samples of the layers beneath the road. We have used this information to create the construction design we will use to strengthen the A299. To permanently resolve this issue, we need to rebuild the affected areas of road. This means we will need to close the road for a longer period as we are unable to reopen the road after each shift due to the depths involved. The details of the proposed traffic management arrangements are explained below.

Once the work is complete, the structure of the road will be far more resilient in future years, reducing the need for repairs and the associated disruption to traffic. It will also improve the ride quality for road users.

Closure to remove contraflow system

We will fully close both the westbound (London-bound) and eastbound (coast-bound) carriageways at night starting from the A299 Eddington interchange off-slip and finishing at the Brenley Corner interchange with the A2/M2. This is necessary to safely remove the contraflow arrangements.

This closure will start on Tuesday 28 May and will last for 4 nights, with the closure lasting between 7pm to 5am. The temporary 40mph speed limit will continue to be in place 24 hours a day and daytime lane closures will be required. Signed diversion routes will be installed for each direction of travel.

We need to close the road during this stage to protect our workforce and road users.

We do expect there to be disruption, particularly during peak hours in the daytime, but once the contraflow and temporary speed restriction is fully removed, traffic flows will return to their usual, unimpeded level.


The diversion route for both directions of travel during this closure will be:

  • Exit or join A299 Thanet Way at Eddington interchange
  • A291 (Herne Street-Canterbury Road-Calcott Hill-Herne Bay Road and vice versa)
  • A28 (Mill Road-Sturry Road-Tourtel Road-Military Road-Broad Street-Lower Bridge Street-Upper Bridge Street-Rhodaus Town-Pin Hill and vice versa)
  • A2050 (Rheims Way-Harbledown Bypass and vice versa)
  • Join or exit A2 at A2050
  • Continue on A2 Boughton Bypass
  • Exit or join A2 at Brenley Corner.

Traffic wishing to join the A299 in a westbound direction at Clapham Hill will be diverted via A290 (Clapham Hill-Pean Hill-Blean Hill-Whitstable Rd-St Dunstan’s Street-St Peters Place) before joining the wider diversion at the A2050.

Vehicle breakdowns and speed monitoring

Whilst the contraflow system is active, there is a risk that vehicle breakdowns will cause delays to traffic, as the westbound (London-bound) carriageway is reduced to a single lane in both directions. Our contractors will provide free recovery for any vehicles that break down on the A299 within the area of the works and will move the vehicles to a safe location. Multiple recovery vehicles will be on site at all times to minimise disruption caused by vehicle breakdowns. CCTV will also be installed and monitored at all times to check traffic flows and identify any stranded vehicles as soon as possible.

We also have the power to monitor traffic speed throughout the contraflow and may choose to pass on the details of speeding vehicles to Kent Police for enforcement action to be taken. We will install digital messaging signs informing motorists of their current speed.

Minimising disruption

This type of deep reconstruction would ordinarily be carried out under a full road closure, with traffic being diverted.

We had explored the option of closing the A299 Thanet Way and diverting traffic through Whitstable via the A2990. As part of exploring these options, we listened to the feedback from the community and were guided by local county councillors’ knowledge of the impact that such a road closure would have on local people and businesses. It was therefore decided that a contraflow system will be used.

Our estimated timescales for the delivery of this project are:

Preliminary works

From Monday 11 March 2024 to the morning of Friday 29 March 2024

We will need to close the A299 in both directions overnight between Whitstable and Herne Bay while we upgrade the crossover point for the traffic that the contraflow is expected to handle. Traffic will be diverted on the A2990 between 8pm and 5am each night. Lane closures may be required during the daytime but this will be kept to a minimum.

Main project

From Friday 5 April to Saturday 13 April 2024

The London-bound A299 Thanet Way will be closed each night from 7pm to 5am to allow for the installation of the contraflow. A temporary 40mph speed limit will be in place 24 hours a day and lane closures may be required. Signed diversion routes will be installed and traffic travelling coastbound will be unaffected.

From Monday 15 April to Tuesday 28 May 2024

With the contraflow in place, reconstruction works will start on the coastbound A299 Thanet Way.

From Tuesday 28 May to Friday 31st May 2024

The A299 Thanet Way will be closed in both directions each night from 7pm to 5am to allow for the safe phased removal of the contraflow. A temporary 40mph speed limit will be in place 24 hours a day and lane closures may be required. Signed diversion routes will be installed for each direction of travel.

More detailed information about the reconstruction period will be available on this page closer to the start date of the works.

If any changes need to be made to our timescale or further road closures are required to maintain the contraflow system, we will update this page.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to businesses and road users during these works. We have tried to minimise the impact to local people by keeping access available to Whitstable throughout the scheme and by keeping through traffic on the A299 Thanet Way, reducing potential congestion within the surrounding areas.

However, we understand there could still be a partial loss of trade for businesses in the area. We sympathise with the business owners affected but we are not able to offer reimbursement for loss of income. We are not required by government legislation to compensate residents or businesses impacted by our works. We are also not able to set a precedent of offering compensation in these cases, as any costs would be taken directly from our highway budgets which are already under strain. This situation extends to motorists whose journey times or distances are increased and any resulting extra fuel or ‘wear and tear’ costs during maintenance work.

We will update this section as key points of the reconstruction phase are reached.

14 May 2024

We have made very good progress and we are currently ahead of our original programme.

As long as the weather conditions allow, we now plan to fully reopen the reconstructed stretch of the coastbound road by 1 June, instead of 20 July as originally anticipated.

From Tuesday 28 May 2024 to Friday 31st May 2024, the A299 Thanet Way will be closed in both directions each night from 7pm to 5am to allow for the safe phased removal of the contraflow. We had intended to close only the London bound carriageway, but this is not possible and the closure of both directions is necessary. See the 'project timescales' section above for more information.

15 April 2024

The contraflow system is now in place and will remain active until our reconstruction works finish in July. Traffic flows are being monitored and are expected to partially improve once other road closures within the area are removed this week. However, please expect delays and plan your journey accordingly.

The reconstruction phase of our project began on Saturday 13 April, with more than 3,000 tonnes of road surface removed over the first weekend.

2 April 2024

The upgrade to the Chestfield Tunnel crossover point, forming part of our preliminary works, was completed successfully and ahead of schedule by the morning of Saturday 23 March.

The main project is still due to start at 7pm on Friday 5 April, however, it is expected that the London bound closure of the A299 will not be in place until the night of Sunday 7 April.

Our contractor will spend the nights of Friday 5 April and Saturday 6 April transporting the extensive resources required to site and begin setting up signs and other arrangements without the need for a full closure of the A299 in either direction.

If you require any further information on these works, or need to report to us a problem whilst the works are ongoing, visit our report a problem page and select ‘Resurfacing - Information Required’ from the available reporting options.

The cost of permanently addressing the underlying issues on the A299 Thanet Way could not be funded from our existing highway maintenance budgets, so we submitted an application to the Department for Transport's Challenge Fund.

This application was successful, and we were subsequently awarded £4m, as a contribution to strengthen the highway. As a condition of the Department for Transport grant, we have also contributed funding of approximately £420,000 from our countywide road maintenance budget.

Funded by

The government Challenge Fund provides money for major maintenance projects, which were difficult to fund from existing highway maintenance budgets.