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Link road suggested to ease traffic in town

A NEW road linking the busy Sutton Road with Loose Road could be one way of easing congestion at one of Maidstone’s worst traffic hotspots.

The Wheatsheaf junction, along with the junction of Cripple Street and Boughton Lane, is acknowl- edged as one of the busiest spots in the borough – but no mitigation measures have so far been put for- ward for either.

A strip of land beside Kent Police Training School could be linked with Lansdowne Avenue and Boughton Lane, to alleviate pressure on the Wheatsheaf junction, but at the pub- lic inquiry into the Boughton Lane development, the idea was dis- missed as too costly. However, no figures were discussed. Kent Police said it was prepared to consider the suggestion, as it had the spare land which could make the proposal achievable.

About a quarter of the traffic head-

ing towards Maidstone on the Loose Road reaches the Wheatsheaf and turns right into the Sutton Road and then heads south, whilst the same is happening with the traffic heading down the Sutton Road towards Maidstone, turning left into the Loose Road and also heading south. The NLRA did suggest to the de-

velopers BDW, who hoped to build 220 homes in Boughton Lane, that a road exiting through Kent Police land on to the A274 Sutton Road, which at that time had less traffic than the Loose Road, would have been the most sensible solution. Dividing the costs of the road

evenly over the proposed 220 homes would have meant a nominal in- crease to their selling price. NLRA Chair Sean Carter believes

Maidstone has suffered at the hands of its administration for decades. He said: “Nobody appears to have thought to plan the infrastructure before pressing ahead with house- building and development.. NLRA secretary Jacqueline Day recalls a Leeds-Langley bypass being discussed in 1972 – 44 years ago – and yet it is still potentially more than 10 years away.

The NLRA is part of South Maid-

stone Action for Roads and Trans- port, which last year put forward four ideas for reducing congestion. Three have been taken up by the Joint Transportation Board – the fourth being a plan to close the Loose Road end of Cranbourne Av- enue, which was rejected after pleas from residents.

Pupils go to the ball in book week

CHILDREN at a school in Loose enjoyed a fairytale ending to term by dressing as their favourite story- book characters.

Among the guests at Tiger Primary School’s magic ball was Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell and three Snow Whites (pictured), including teacher Florence Saunders. Charlotte Scott, principal of the Boughton Lane school, said: “The children all looked brilliant in their outfits. The party was a great way to mark the end of term as the children have been learning all about fairytales.” Before the year group enjoyed their afternoon of dancing, they were also treated to other classroom fun.

01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

School takeover THE Valley Invicta Academies Trust (VIAT) is set to take over struggling Swadelands School. VIAT chief Dr Phil Limbert confirmed the regional schools’ commissioner has re- quested the Lenham school becomes part of the trust.

May 2016 No. 229 News School decision day

THE number of youngsters need- ing primary school places in the area has leapt for the ninth year in a row. 3

Brave PC’s award

POLICEMAN James Arnold has been honoured for saving a suicidal man.


One Maidstone pride 20

A NEW group is promoting Maid- stone’s county town sta- tus.

Aldi for Langley Park 23

ALDI is to move to Langley Park as part of huge 600 home development.

Gluten inspiration

A BARMING pub has gone gluten-free - thanks to little Layla, aged three.

Obituaries 31

Comment 40-41 Crime Reports 50

A MINI convertible had its roof slashed in Fant.

Parish Councils 50

REPOINTING work on the parish hall in Barming has been com- pleted and paid for; silt and debris were still being washed down Well Street in Loose.

34-35 46-47

New info panels

A SERIES of information panels has been unveiled as part of a Maidstone history trail in the town centre. For more, see the Maidstone Council-sponsored  12-page Borough Update inside.3

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