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Call for action on traffic chaos

AYLESFORD MP Tracey Crouch has called for an end to traffic chaos as vehicles leave a busy shopping complex. She said that as a regular user of

the shops at Quarry Wood, off the A20 near M20 Junction 5, she had seen the problem for herself, but over the past few weeks it had de- teriorated and a number of con- stituents had contacted her. With further development planned for the business park and with a large number of homes set to be built in theAylesford area and in Hermitage Lane, Maidstone it was feared that the problem would get worse. Ms Crouch said the traffic at the junction of the feeder roads from the business estate with the A20 London Roadwas “a complete and utter nightmare at the weekends,” with drivers complaining of long delays. One woman said she had been forced to queue for an hour to get out of Sainsbury’s car park. The MP said: “Another told me

they now consider going elsewhere to shop over theweekend, pushing business away from the estate and

potentially threatening hundreds of jobs. “The concern of many, including

me, is that development in sur- rounding areas will compound the issue unless something is done to improve the flow of traffic coming out of Quarry Wood. “I know this is something Ton-

bridge and Malling Council is con- cerned about too. This is an issue forKCCand Highway Services and I am writing to them to see what they can do to solve this headache. It could be something as simple as changing the timing on the traffic lights, but then it could be some- thing more fundamental such as different entrance and exits.” Ms Crouch welcomed the prospect of new retailers moving into the area, making it all the more urgent to make sure the issue was resolved. Sainsbury’s said cus- tomers were affected by the road layout at busy times, but it had in- troduced marshals to help direct vehicles and was working with KCC, who said it had received Ms Crouch’s letter and would respond to it.

Capralama Farm, Bethersden, Ashford, Kent TN26 3EQ Putting the boots in

UNEMPLOYED residents may be able get a helping hand to put their best feet forward. Maidstone Council has opened a “boot bank” which will enable people

to take on manual work by giving them free work boots, which can be paid for at a later date. The money will then be used to buy more boots to keep the scheme going. The idea for the scheme came about when a group of agencies working to- gether to support homeless people in the town found that some people had been offered work, but could not afford the boots they needed to take on the job. Lordswood-based construction company Faithdean has agreed to kick-

Damien South presents boots to Cllr Marion Ring

start the scheme with a donation of 10 pairs of work boots. Director Damien South said: “I hope that providing some of the equipment needed to take on work will make a real difference.” Cllr Marion Ring, chairman of Maidstone Council’s communities, hous-

ing and environment committee, said: “Some of the barriers that people face to get back into work can be very simple to overcome with just a lit- tle innovative thinking, and the boot bank has the potential to help some of those in most need.” Those using the scheme initially will be those with a local connection

who have been referred by local support agencies. Any companies which are able to donate boots or protective equipment to the scheme, can email

Make your Christmas Magical with a visit to The Reindeer Centre

Young and old will enjoy meeting Father Christmas, children will have their very own special encounter with Father Christmas and receive a quality wrapped gift, Christmas hat and special reindeer passport of their own. Stroll through 7 animated Christmas scenes.


FAMILY ATTRACTIONS Straw Bale Ball Pit Artificial snow Play Area Elf entertainers Gift Shop Bouncy Castle and Play Area Light refreshments available

Enter the animal corner and meet the pigs, goats, llamas, donkeys, meerkats, rabbits and reptile corner.

16 Maidstone Town Xmas 2015

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