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Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone East Edition Feb 2011 No.166

KENT Police have been heavily criticised for their attitude to requests for 20mph speed limits near schools. Lenham is one of several communities

that has campaigned for such restrictions, backed by a 1,000-signature petition. But the police say they are not in favour of 20mph limits unless they are "self-enforc- ing" (see panel). Maidstone's Joint Transportation Board

(JTB) reacted angrily as members said it im- plied a lack of enthusiasm by the police for their legal duties. Cllr Dan Daley, a former mayor, said he

was concerned their apparent attitude was not to police a limit unless it was self-en- forcing. He said the highways authority has the power to impose speed limits. In the case of

Anger as police snub 20mph limits ‘

THE official response from the police was as follows:

Kent Police will not support 20mph

speed limits unless the average speed of vehicles is 24mph or less. Supporting evi- dence is gained by collecting speed data over a 24-hour, 7-day period. Research has shown that signed-only 20mph limits, where natural traffic calming is absent, have little or no effect on traffic speeds.

20mph, it is a safety precaution around schools. He said there did not seem to be any problem with such measures elsewhere in the country, for example, in Norfolk. "What is it about Kent Police?" he asked. Cllr Daley said, from time to time, officers

could "blitz" a 20mph zone. "They do it in other areas when it suits them. Why can't

TEDDY Ostler loves his primary school, even though it is five miles away. But his mum is too poorly to drive him there at

the moment and is fighting to get school transport for him. KCC is keen to help Lyn Ostler, who has a be-

nign brain tumour, but can only offer travel assis- tance to the family's nearest school, which is Lenham. Mrs Ostler has nothing against Lenham primary

but would much prefer Teddy (6) to stay where he is. She has taken up the case with her MP Hugh Robertson as well as local councillors. "I went to six different schools as a child and I

don't want Teddy to have to change. He's doing extremely well at Platts Heath. Teachers like him and he thrives there. He just loves it and I don't want to upset that," said Mrs Ostler (44), who lives with husband Andrew and their other son,

George (3) at remote Payden Street Cottages,Warren Street. Mrs Ostler used to run her

own mortgage firm, then last summer she started work for South East Health - but after a month she fell ill and was diag- nosed with a pituitary micro adenoma. She was still able to drive

Teddy to school until just after Christmas when the medication started to affect her concentra- tion. Her doctor said it could be up

to eight weeks before it is safe for her to even consider getting behind the wheel again. In the meantime, friends have ferried Teddy to Platts Heath andbackwhentheycan-but she does not want to have to rely on them. Mrs Ostler hopes the steroids

and medication will shrink her tumour but fears her condition may become permanent. In a letter sympathising with Mrs Ostler's situation






01622 737335

The Transport Research Laboratory

found that signed-only 20mph limits achieved average speed reductions of about 1mph and did not significantly re- duce accidents. Kent Police will not support the introduc-

tion of 20mph zones without sufficient traf- fic calming measures being in place, and of appropriate design, that reduce the speed of most traffic to 20mph or less thereby making them self-enforcing.

they do this? It's not on." Lib Dem colleague Malcolm Robertson

said he did not support a limit outside every school but thought more sites should be looked at. Most drivers, he said, would adhere to 20mph limits near schools - and those who did not would at least drive at 30mph

’ P24 Mum’s battle to keep Teddy at school

Plan for huge new business park unveiled

PLANS have been tabled to cre- ate the borough’s largest out-of- town business estate off junction 8 of the M20. Gallagher Properties wants to establish about 600,000 sq ft of employment space on 38 acres of agricultural land south of the A20 near Hollingbourne, be- tween the Ramada Jarvis Hotel and the headquarters of Biffa Waste Services. The developer hopes the

plan, covering an area twice the size of Eclipse Park off J7, will form part of Maidstone Coun- cil’s Local Development Frame- work (LDF). Gallagher Properties says the

Borough Update MAIDSTONE Council’s latest eight-page newsletter can be found in the centre of this edition of the Downs Mail.

Council chief backs KIG defence


Families get taste of waste scheme

The home powered by rotten apples


Campaign threat to jobs, say bossesP24


plan fits in with the long-term aim to create a new road link- ing the south of Maidstone with J8, but insists that the existing infrastructure will be sufficient even if this is not delivered. A report on the LDF docu-

ment comes before a council cabinet meeting this week (Feb- ruary 9). Council leader Cllr Chris Garland said: “All sorts of developers have all sorts of as- pirations but whether they take place or not will come down to the planning system. “I know that there is an aspi-

ration for development on Junc- tion 8. Whether this leads to council support is a matter for consultation.” Nick Yandle, chief executive

of the Gallagher Group, said: “At the moment we are


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