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A camera onworrying times MailMarks

 I AM sad and worried that Maidstone

Council is now looking at another major fi- nancial saving by cutting back seriously on the number of CCTV cameras covering the town centre. They werealongtimecoming–notwith-

out controversy over ‘spying’ – and their sub- sequent expansion and operation were carefully considered. But they were quickly accepted, especially

after several early successes. Nowthe council, facedwith having tomake

yetmore savings as Government support con- tinues to diminish, is targeting many of the cameras. Some may produce less results than others – but it is impossible to judge which ones will really hit the jackpots. I feel Maidstone is a much more secure

place by day and night with these cameras watching over us. It is yet another sad episode in the long

story of financial difficulties and severe cuts since the last Labour Chancellor of the Ex-

Roads just can’t cope

FURTHER to the articles on pages 8 and 38 of the November 2016 Downs Mail, can I point out that KCC Highways have created a Leeds&Langley bypass by upgrading Willington Street road surface, from C road status to anAroad status and placing a weight restriction on the B2163 – a cheap fix in comparison to a full bypass. The increase in traffic between the A20 and

the A274 in both directions has risen dramatically since completion of the upgrade. At rush hour, it is not unusual for the tailback of traffic to stretch from the Madginford traffic lights back to the A274. I asked KCC Highways when theywere upgradingWillington Street, if theywere proposing to alter the road layout at the Madginford/Mote House traffic lights, by introducing a second lane northbound to release the traffic queuing behind traffic turning right into Madginford andwas told there have been no accidents at this location to justify alterations. It can take 20 minutes to get from Northumberland Road to the A20 Ashford Road in the morning or afternoon rush hours, a journey that takes approximately four minutes in normal circumstances. With the two housing developments on

the A274 at Park Wood, and there are other developments to follow which will link Langley to Maidstone, the traffic flow can only increase.


chequer left the note that the country’s money had run out. I will never forgive Gordon Brown and his Labour government for finan- cial mismanagement. The pain for some is still growing and for

most there is a fall in quality of life. I increas- ingly feel this in and around Maidstone and it is getting tougher. Very worrying times.

Soldiers’ farewell I have very mixed emotions about the

news Maidstone will lose our military pres- ence in about 10 years. There is a long and proud history (229

years) includingmore recently the RoyalWest Kents, Royal Engineers and Gurkhas. I have

How long will it be before the last two

park and rides are closed for housing developments? Is it not time that Maidstone Borough Council took their heads out of the sand and looked at the overall picture and realised that the town’s infrastructure can't cope with all the proposed housing developments? Rob Leach, via email

Why not bypass the town?

REFERENCE the Leeds-Langley bypass – why stop there? Go all theway, past Coxheath and re-join the M20 somewhere. This may (no, would) upset a lot of people, as would Maidstone with a mono-rail network with sufficient park and rides and no bus lanes. I’ve just found a book of Maidstone 1949,

and a celebration of its town charter. It spoke of an 18-hole golf course and an open-air swimming pool for Mote Park –we didn’t get either of these. David Green, Eddington Close, Maidstone

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 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

very fond memories of all the tremendous support given as the finishing point for the massive Kent Messenger 50-mile overnight walks in the 1960s. In so manyways they will be missed. But their departurewill open new opportu-

nities for valuable land so close to the town centre and I suspect this will lead to a more prosperous and socially-cohesiveMaidstone. Maidstone Council has had its eye on this

site for some time as a development area. That wish will come true.

Thank you Tony Our thanks are due to Tony Jones who

took over the really hot seat as chairman of Maidstone and TunbridgeWellsNHShospital trust not too long after the C-difficile infection scandal saw the death of around 100 patients and the demise of the former chairman and chief executive Rose Gibb. He led the team which restored faith in our local hospitals - no easy task.

further in all directions and will come under increasing pressure with every new house that is built along Hermitage Lane. 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. Peter Farr,Wateringbury

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 linewere cancelled. Passengers travelling home on Tuesday andWednesday evenings thatweek faced having to stand. There is no heated waiting room at MaidstoneWest. 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

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