M2 junction 5 – more than just a road scheme
24 Oct 2023
We’re committed to making a real difference for the communities who live near our roads, especially where we’re carrying our major improvements.
Share this article
We’ve pulled together some of the activities we’ve been doing in the community around our improvement scheme at junction 5 on the M2.
You can find the latest information about the scheme on our project webpage.
Click on a heading to find out more.
Leaving a legacy is not just about a new road or improved junction, it’s also about the local area.
So, we were delighted when Hartlip Parish Council asked us to support a tree planting scheme to commemorate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
And the tree of choice? English oaks of course, known for their character and longevity.
The trees were planted on parkland in Lower Hartlip, which now forms part of Hartlip’s conservation area.
We were pleased to be invited back to Hartlip, this time help grow the size of the local allotments. Located next to the village hall, an unused area had become overgrown and unmanageable. Our green-fingered team not only cleared the plot, which is now being used to grow produce by the local community, but also laid a new footpath.
We all need a helping hand sometimes, and we have a willing and able team that are happy to give their time to help others.
At Dandelion Time, a charity based in Maidstone that works with Kent children who are experiencing serious behavioural and emotional difficulties as a result of trauma, together with their families, the team spent the day carrying out garden maintenance, including planting, weeding and bramble clearing. And anyone found assing around, got the special job of mucking out the donkey stables!
We were also able to donate 10 tonnes of aggregate to the charity to help with the base for new woodland toilets and improved pathways – that’s the equivalent of five fully grown hippos!
Our scheme is not only improving journeys for road users, we’ve also been able to help anyone visiting the community pavilion in Newington.
Following a request for help from Newington Parish Council, we were able to lay a long-awaited new ‘highway’ and access ramp to make their village pavilion more accessible for everyone.
It was ‘on your marks…set…bake’ on the scheme, all in the name of charity.
With rewards handed out for star baker, and the best faker, the team enjoyed a well-earned coffee and cake break as part of the nationwide Macmillan Coffee Morning, all while raising an amazing £413.
We more people turning to foodbanks to help with essentials, we have regular collections on site to support the local Trussell Trust Food Bank in Sittingbourne.
For international Women’s Day the project team supported local woman’s charity New Leaf Support. The charity supports victims and their children suffering from domestic abuse. The team raised £220.
We also had hoppy helpers gave up their Good Friday last year to help at Demelza Hospice Care For Children's Easter egg hunt at Doddington Place Gardens.
Helping in the car park, the team found themselves herding sheep, as well as cars, while making sure all visitors found a space, and stayed a safe distance from the sheep.
It was a cracking day, made egg-tra special by the glorious sunshine. And there were hoppy faces all round at the end of day as our team made sure everyone got away safely after enjoying the egg-cellent Easter egg hunt.
We're very proud to be able to help Demelza’s hospice in Sittingbourne, and support the amazing work they do.
With such a major construction project on the doorstep, we’ve been working with local schools, universities, and careers services to inspire the next generation of engineers.
So far, we’ve attended events at Westlands School and Fulstone Manor School in Sittingbourne; Howard School in Gillingham; Lenham School and Maplesden Noakes School in Maidstone; and at the University of Greenwich Medway Campus.
Two of our brilliant female site engineers also visited the Maidstone Brownies to show them how to build self-supporting structures with just marshmallows and spaghetti.
In small groups of six, the Brownies worked together to try and build the tallest tower. We had some great end results, some innovative ideas, and some future project managers on our hands!
We were very pleased to help the girls on their way to their "Think Like an Engineer" badge.
We’re very proud of our site, and we’re very happy to show it off.
Having welcomed everyone from MPs to local residents and Royal Engineers to Councillors onto site, tours give us a great opportunity to explain the scheme and the work currently underway.
If you drive through the junction, taking the time to look around at all the changes really helps to put into perspective the amount of work that’s been, and still needs to be done, to deliver these essential improvements at this busy junction.
We’re delighted to have been rated as outstanding by the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) once again.
CCS is an independent organisation that promotes and supports construction sites in their efforts to care for the environment, local community and their workforce.
An independent assessor visits the site every six months, and following their latest visit in October 2023, the project was again awarded the top mark of 45/45.
Following the last visit, the assessor commented: “I would like to thank the project team for the continued excellent work they are portraying of the construction industry, and for the excellent engagement they continue to employ to understand the impacts that the works have on the community, and how they can minimise this as much as possible.”
With extra marks up for grabs for innovation, our approach to community engagement took us to an amazing 46 out of 45!
Project manager Dan said: “The complexities of the building a project of this size cannot be underestimated, and I am delighted that our efforts to do so with consideration for our workforce, drivers, the local community and the environment continues to be recognised as industry leading.”
Did you know, we run a monthly drop-in clinic at Oad Street Food and Crafts? There’s nothing like talking face-to-face, and these clinics are open to anyone who wants to come and meet to the team.
Armed with drawings, laptops and a listening ear, the team are there to answer any questions people have, and the sessions continue to be popular with the local community.
We regularly meet with Borden, Stockbury and Hartlip parish councils to keep them updated on our work, and discuss upcoming road closures.
These meetings are a great opportunity to share information, gather local knowledge and discuss any queries they have.
We’re regularly asked to attend meetings in the local community. And we’re more than happy to come along to talk about the scheme and progress, as well as answering questions.
We’ve been welcomed by resident groups, including Maidstone Road, Bredgar, Borden, Kemsley and Stockbury, and business groups including The Portcullis Business Club.