This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Call for action at narrow bridge

RENEWED calls have been made for a solution to the traffic problems at East Farleigh Bridge after a lorry hit awall and a house. There were long delays as traffic

built up after the HGV got into dif- ficulties. It is the latest in a long series of incidents at the single carriageway bridge, which dates back to me- dieval times. East Farleigh Parish Council chairman, Cllr John Wilson, has been fighting for a solution for more than 15 years. He said the issue was twofold –

the volume of traffic and the im- proper use of the bridge by Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). Lorries are misdirected to use the

road by sat nav, which does not show how narrow the road eventu- ally becomes. Cllr Wilson said: “With 18,500

new homes being built in Maid- stone – many of them in the south – the increase in volume of traffic is a

partly one of enforcement of the regulations and the police simply do not have the resources. It is also partly that there are few alterna- tives.” CllrWilson will be pressing for a

South Maidstone Relief Road to be built through his role in the Kent Association of Local Councils, adding: “It is the only answer to the traffic and vital to the highways strategy of Kent, not just Maid- stone. National funding is needed.” He has met with MP for Maid-

stone and TheWeald, Helen Grant, to discuss the problem. Mrs Grant has previously arranged for ameet- ing with National Rail, Kent High- ways and the parish council. There have been calls for better

fact of life andwe can’t do anything about it. “The problem of the HGVs is

Cllr John Wilson, chairman of East Farleigh Parish Council with Helen Grant

signs at the top of the hill warning drivers about the bridge, or physi- cal barriers preventing wider vehi- cles getting down the hill. CllrWilson said that Kent High-

ways would be carrying out a sur- vey of HGV use on East Farleigh and Teston bridges following a meeting of the parish council chair- man of Barming, East and West Farleigh and Teston. Ward Councillor Richard Webb

said it was a “constant problem”, adding: “Everyone is continually looking at ideas which are bandied about to various organisations and

Plans to renew ‘unfit’ bus depot

PLANS to modernise Maidstone’s bus station are being worked on by The Mall owners. The current arrangements were strongly criticised in Maidstone council’s newly-adopted transport strategy. The report said: “The town’s

main bus interchange at The Mall Chequers Shopping Centre is nei- ther fit for purpose nor user- friendly. It is not well lit or ventilated and is threatening in character, being essentially a tun- nel under the centre linking King Street and Romney Place.” A spokesman for the owners, Capital and Regional, said:“We are working with Maidstone Borough Council and bus operators to mod- ernise the bus station, as part of our successful refurbishment of The Mall.” The company first revealed am- bitions to modernise the bus sta- tion when it announced the refurbishment of The Mall with a £5 million investment. That work is almost complete. The exhibition promised “a relo-

cated and modern bus station which will create a better environ- ment and improved experience for the whole of Maidstone”. Bus company Arriva confirmed

thatnewoptions for the bus station were being considered. A spokesman said: “We support Maidstone Borough Council and

then someone says ‘I can see a problem here’ and it’s back to the drawing board. It’s a problem that does need sorting, but as yet no one has come up with the brilliant solu- tion that will solve it.” One person remarked on com- munity website Streetlife: “The HGVs (and general through traffic) using our narrow village lanes south of Maidstone is seriously out of hand and getting worse all the time… There needs to be some combined action between our parish, borough and county coun- cils before there is a fatality.”

Speeding bus driver caught

by villagers A VILLAGE Speedwatch group had a successful morning when they caught 19 vehicles, including a bus, breaking the 30mph limit. The bus was registered doing 36mph in Coxheath on Sunday, September 18. Another driver was recorded speeding in the village at nearly 60mph. The Speedwatch scheme has

The entrance to the current bus station in Maidstone (above) and

right, how the new more

accessible bus station might look

been in place since June last year and so far has caught 400 drivers breaking the limit. Offenders’ details are then passed to Kent Police for possible further action. Motorists who break the limit

twice within a year get written warnings, while those who break the limit by more than 50% are warned immediately. There have also been calls for

their partners in any plans that im- prove bus travel in the town. “We are working closely with

MBC to consider options for the bus station and welcome the op- portunity to create a first class fa- cility for current and future bus

users, tomeet the growing demand for high quality transport links in and around the town.” The Mall interchange was not designed to be the town’s main bus station. It took on the rolewhenthe nearby stationwas closed.

speed controls in Boxley Road, Maidstone, by motorists who have been trying to stick to the 30mph limit. One driver complained on the community forum Streetlife: “The problem is that vehicles are completely ignoring the speed limit. Some of the speeds they do are completely reckless and law- less. If you stick to 30mph in Box- ley Road, you get tailgated, overtaken, insulted and even threatened by impatient drivers.”

Maidstone November 2016 33

Transport |News

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56