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cil’s infrastructure priorities for planes, trains, and automobiles for the next 15 years and offers the pub- lic a chance to comment. In Maidstone, the strategy high-


Keeping the county moving Have your say


THE county council has unveiled its transport strategy – Delivering Growth without Gridlock. It identifies Kent County Coun-


lights the issues of town centre con- gestion, poor rail links and restricted rural bus services. Other areas identified include the


need to create smaller overnight HGV parks to relieve illegal and in- appropriate parking by lorries, cut deaths and serious injury on our roads by a third, improve rail con- nections and reduce the cost of train travel. The chaos caused by Operation


Stack still remains a priority and is identified in the report. On the congestion issue the strat-


egy document notes: “A scheme to relieve congestion at the Bridges Gy- ratory is currently being imple- mented, although continued traffic growth on other parts of the net- work is expected to result in wors- ening delays for road users. “These pressures are most evident


on the congested A229 and A274 corridors in south and south eastern Maidstone and on the A20 corridor


Racist aack A MAN who launched a violent, racist attack in Fremlin Walk has been jailed. Tommy Meyers (24) was sen- tenced at Mid Kent Magistrates’ Court where he admitted criminal damage, common assault, racially- aggravated common assault and using threatening, abusive or in- sulting words or behaviour. On August 25, Meyer, of Rochester, damaged four coffee mugs worth £20, assaulted a man and used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to- wards a man and a woman at a shop in FremlinWalk, Maidstone. He also assaulted another man,


whichwas racially aggravated, at a restaurant in High Street, Maid- stone.


Magistrates sentenced Meyers to


120 days in prison. He must also pay a £115 victim surcharge.


Burglar jailed A BURGLAR who stole from a house in Maidstone while the occu- pants slept upstairs has been jailed for 32 months. Justin Wynes (40), formerly of


Grove Road, Maidstone, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court where he admitted stealing items worth £1,800, including passports from the property in Northumberland Road.


in northwestern Maidstone.” Future schemes list corridor ca-


Operation Stack and right, Clr Matthew Balfour port


pacity improvements to the A229/A274 and the Bearsted Road corridor; a Leeds and Langley by- pass and improvements to junction 7 on the M20 – but no details of any time scale. While rail links across the district


are comparatively poor, with Maid- stone currently having no direct service to the City of London, it is proposed to extend Thameslink to Maidstone East by 2018. On buses, the report notes: “We


have to take a pragmatic approach to funding commercially unviable bus services and will seek to sup-


MEMBERS of the public have until October 30 to comment by visit- ing www.kent.gov.uk/localtrans- portplan. If youwould like a printed copy,


or the information in any other format or language, email alter- nativeformats@kent.gov.uk or call 03000 421553 (text relay service number: 18001 03000 421553).


other


means of provi- sion that can achieve the same aims, such as com- munity bus services. However, we welcome the potential for KCC to have bus franchising powers to en- hance services and create an inte- grated public transport network.” Overall, it concludes that there re-


mains a “significant funding gap” for its wish list, which it says “high- lights the need to lobby and explore other sources of funding”. KCC’s Matthew Balfour, cabinet member for environment and trans-


port, pictured, said: “This is one of our biggest plans and will shape the way we invest in our infrastructure up until 2031. The transport plan is vital to boost Kent’s economy and support a growing population which is expected to increase by 293,000 people in the next 15 years. “With potential opportunities for devolution from government, now is the time for us to set out our plans and make clear what we want as a county. “This plan will lay out what we


will do to make sure transport is playing its part in making Kent a great place to live, work and do business.


Stones boost cancer charity Police assault


NATIONAL League clubs, including Maidstone United, have raised more than £15,000 for the BobbyMoore Fund for Cancer Research. Every club across


the three divisions took part in collections and a chequewas presented to Stephanie Moore MBE, Bobby’s widow (left).


Last month, English Heritage


unveiled a blue plaque on the Moore family home in East London


in recognition of the only England captain to lift theWorld Cup. Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second most common cause of cancer death. Since the fundwas set up in 1993 mortality rates have fallen30%and more than £22 million has been raised. The charity hopes to raise an additional £500,000 this year, the 50th anniversary of England’s World Cup win. Maidstone’s collection during the Bishop’s Stortford game and raised £405.


A HOMELESS man who assaulted police officers has been spared prison. Dale Cooper (52) was sentenced


last month at Mid Kent Magistrates Court where he admitted being drunk and disorderly and two counts of assaulting a police officer. Later that month, Cooper, of no fixed address, was drunk and dis- orderly in High Street, Maidstone. He also assaulted two police offi- cers in Maidstone. Magistrates sentenced Cooper to


21 days in prison, suspended for 12 months. He must also pay a £115 victim surcharge.


Vote for Mote Park in national award


MOTE Park is hoping to be named as one of the top parks and open spaces in the country. The park is being entered for


The People’s Choice competition organised by the Green Flag Award. This scheme which recognises


the best green spaces in the United Kingdom. Last year, the Maidstone park


was awarded third place, just be- hind London’s Victoria Park which was first and Margam Park inWales second. Councillor David Pickett, chair-


man of Maidstone Borough Coun- cil’s Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee. Cllr Pickett hopes Maidstone’s famous landmark will be able to better the third place achieved in the awards in 2015. Cllr Pickett said: “The Green


Flag People’s Choice Award al- ways brings together the very best of the open spaces throughout the entirety of the UK, and each year that we’ve been placed, we’ve taken great pride into just how val- ued the park is among users. “Of course, it was great achieve-


ment to have been named third in 2015, as well as within the top three in the preceding years. “We hope that we are able to


once again reach such heights, and invite people to vote for Mote Park in 2016. The Green Flag People’s Choice Awards represent a mag- nificent reward for all involved in maintaining this public space in- cluding the dedicated staff and the amazing volunteers from the Mote Park Fellowship.” The public is asked to vote for


their favourite park at greenfla- gaward.org


Maidstone East October 2016 35


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