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Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


December 2016 Carols and lights


CHILDREN from West Malling CE Primary School joined the fun at the town’s Christmas lights festival. The school’s 30-strong choir delighted the crowd in the High Street with the carol, Angels From the Realms of Glory, and the Military Wives’ song, Stronger Together.


The line-up also included street cleaner Clive Mit- son who switched on the lights and was inter- viewed on Chris Evans’ show on BBC Radio 2.


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M20 footbridge ‘to be replaced in 2018’


TALKS have begun to reinstate the M20 footbridge demolished in an accident this summer, but work will not start for at least two years.


The crossing point at Addington, which linked the village divided when the motorway opened in 1971, was brought down by a crane being transported on the back of a lorry. Two other lorries and a 73-year-old motorcyclist were caught up in the drama near junction 4 on August 27. No one was killed. Now talks have turned to how the bridge can be re-built, but this will not happen before 2018. Addington Parish Council mem-


bers were invited by civil engineer- ing group A-One+ to discuss draft plans in Kings Hill, where they saw images of how it will look. Discussions revolved around the need to accommodate an extra spi- ral in the walkway to satisfy new legislation requiring a less steep in- cline, and upgrading the structure from concrete to steel. Addington councillor Peter Robin-


son welcomed the opportunity to talk over the scheme with the con- tractors, who have asked the parish council for space for a “workmen’s


The wreckage of the bridge is cleared from the M20 after the accident


village” on community land at the end of East Street.


Most of the work will be carried out from the hard shoulder of the M20, with lane closures required. Cllr Robinson said the drawings looked impressive, but would re- quire the removal of some trees from the village green at the end of East Street. Cllr Robinson added: “The parish council will be looking for the contractors to replace any tree re- moved with three more trees to im- prove the green and provide screening from the footbridge.”


He added: “The contractors indi- cated they are looking at a window some time in 2018.” A Highways England spokesman confirmed talks to replace the foot- bridge were continuing, adding: “A- One+ holds the contract for our engineering maintenance work in Maidstone and there will be lots of talking before we finalise our plan, costs and set a time-frame. If there is any way work can be done to coin- cide with other work on the M20 then we would endeavour to do this to minimise disruption.”


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News Hit and run ban


A DRIVER who left the scene of a hit and run in Snodland has been banned from the road and given a hefty fine. 3


Sheep attack anger


VOLUNTEER shepherds called for after a dog mauled a sheep.


5 Crossing delay fury


MP TRACEY Crouch is furious that a rail problem will last until the New Year.


10 Daily drug-testing


FORMER MP Ann Widdecombe has called for daily drug- testing in prisons.


15 Lest we forget


CROWDS turned out at war memorials to remember the town’s fallen heroes.


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Crash victim tributes 28


A FAMILY has paid tribute to a “kind and sincere” student who died.


Crime Reports 28


WINDOWS were damaged in Ditton by a group of about eight teenagers running up the street; medical gas cylinders were taken from a steel cage behind a medical centre in Larkfield; camera equipment was stolen from a car in Aylesford.


Comment Obituaries


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Parish Councils 40-41


THERE have been problems over parking outside a Snodland school - see Town Talk in this month’s Downs Mail. The bi- monthly independent magazine is dedicated to Snodland and Halling residents.


Town Talk


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