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has been said that his interest and support has been greatly appreciated. We should all support Jenny Suon in

her praiseworthy endeavours. This issue is far too important to be reduced to political wrangling. Gillian Roberts, Valentine Road, Maidstone

Relief road a long way off

THERE has been much recent coverage about a so-called relief road between the A20 and the A274 in your publication and others. If there are, as you report, three options - why on earth do we not see the detail of them? The problem, I suspect, is there is no money to build it without carpeting the borough with yet more houses. Or a cynical view would be that the Joint Transportation Board’s vague plan is just that, designed to fob everyone off until after the county council election next year and the whole uncomfortable, troublesome issue will die a death for another two decades. Don’t be fooled, folks, this relief road

isn’t going to happen. But the time and place to express your frustration is in the polling booth next May and every election after it. Voter power is all the rage! HWarren, via email

Rail service is appalling

MAIDSTONE’S Labour councillors are campaigning with party colleagues in Kent, Surrey and Sussex to get Govia, which owns Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink stripped of their rail franchise. On November 4, three out of four peak

time trains on the St Pancras line were cancelled. Passengers travelling home on Tuesday andWednesday evenings that week faced having to stand. There are no facilities at MaidstoneWest

to sit in a heated waiting room, despite being called for over the last few years. This level of service is appalling. It is not infrequent that high speed trains

are delayed or cancelled.We pay £44 return to use a poor service which takes at best 51 minutes to cover 40 miles, and pay a premium fare. Govia should have these services taken

away and returned to public ownership. Our services in Kent and Sussex are a national scandal. Cllrs Paul Harper and Keith Adkinson, Maidstone Labour Party

Lights display for hospice

COME along to this festive fundraising event and enjoy a musical Christmas light display in aid of Heart of Kent Hospice. Every day between December 2 and January 2, 39 Castle Road, Allington, Kent ME16 0PP will be lit up from 5pm to 9pm with shows taking place every half hour. Drive up before the show starts and tune your radio to 106.1FM – it’s as simple as that.

This is a free event but we are asking all

those who come along to make a donation either by texting LIGH77 TO 70070 or by visiting LightingUpAllington Dorothy Gorman, via email

Retail park traffic a disaster

I READ with uer dismay in the Downs Mail (No 235, page 4) that the traffic lights installed for the recently-opened retail park at the north end of Hermitage Lane are not synchronised with those at its junction with the A20. It’s no wonder that, during the rush

hour, this already congested junction now has almost stationary traffic spreading ever further in all directions and will come under increasing pressure with every new house that is built along Hermitage Lane. What were those responsible for planning this installation thinking of, if ever they were thinking at all? It appears to my unsophisticated mind

that this is a major oversight and that heads should roll. Let’s not forget, Hermitage Lane provides a major arterial route to Maidstone Hospital.Will it take a catastrophic accident to make those responsible realise what a mess they’ve caused before they put it right? The horrors of Hermitage Lane are becoming all the more apparent with very new brick that is laid on any one of the building sites there. The seemingly uncontrolled development is a mistake in the making and could be stopped if those responsible look beyond their wallets and think again. Peter Farr,Wateringbury.

Park is not just for residents

I WRITE further to your recently published leer of complaint regarding the festival held in Mote Park.

Your correspondent seems to want it

both ways: he describes the aendees as contributing nothing to the local economy, but then accuses the borough council of using the park as “a cash cow”. This is leaving aside his idea that none

of the people aending these events might be resident taxpayers of the county themselves – something I amfairly sure is not the case. By all means complain about the noise,

Sir – I might have been tempted to go on holiday myself that weekend – but as you say yourself, the land was sold by Viscount Bearsted “for the enjoyment of the people of Maidstone” – and not just the lucky few who actually live in the park. S Moore, Aylesford

Site chance for university

IT IS sad news, hearing of the closure of Invicta Barracks - but what a wonderful opportunity it gives the town. No, not to build yet more houses, but to

offer the site as a university campus. Maidstone missed this opportunity

when Senacre School closed and was replaced by a housing estate. Due to the vast number of houses being built along the Suon Road KCC will now be looking to build another secondary school in that area.

There is no forward planning in the

town. Maidstone must be one of the few county towns in the country without a university and it would do much to raise its status. Like many young people who go away

to university, my daughters now live away.With a university in the town, it would encourage young people to look in Maidstone for work when they leave, as well as giving the town the benefit of their fresh and exciting new thoughts and ideas. Malcolm Luxton, Borden, Kent

Stadium is a winner

I WENT a football match for the first time in years when the Stones took on Rochdale in the FA Cup at the Gallagher Stadium. What a fantastic venue and club! Friendly staff, decent food, clean toilets and a reasonable entry fee. I’ll be back.

Davy Jackson, via email

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