orderForm.noItems Maidstone North Edition Maidstone North Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

March 2017 Tower blocks ‘a new face for town’

MODERN flats on a key site at the northern entrance to the town have been approved by Maid- stone Council. The towers – rising to 18 storeys – off Royal Engineers Road will cost £100m to build. Designer Guy Hollaway says the scheme, which will include houses to buy and rent, will pro- vide a new face for Maidstone and an important gateway to the town. The unusual design, which in- corporates communal facilities and grounds for public use, also boasts allotments on the roof.


All change as Arriva unveils bus review

BUS passengers in Maidstone face major upheaval in a shake-up of routes throughout the borough by Arriva.

Changes which come into effect

on April 2 will see a number of cut- backs, with some services with- drawn completely. However, there will be improve-

ments in some areas, including a newdedicated service every 20 min- utes from the town to Maidstone Hospital. Details of the new timetable,

whichArriva says should reducede- lays by avoiding routes through the congested town centre, were being unveiled at a public meeting on Sat- urday (February 18) at the Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone. The review coincides with the hir-

ing of leading PR consultancy Maxim whose press release, on be- half of Arriva, highlighted “exciting

changes to Maidstone services”. Craig Taylor of Arriva Southern Counties, said the bus firm had wanted “to see how we can further improve the reliability and punctu- ality of our services.” He added: “Congestion in the

town centre makes it difficult for our buses to keep to the timetable. By splitting routes and ensuring good connections, we will be able to pro- vide a far more reliable service.”

But concern over the “impact of

some of the changes proposed and the timing of them,” was raised by KCCbosses, according to an officer’s private briefing note to members, who will be going to the polls four weeks later on May 4. The briefing, obtained by Downs

Mail, says: “As a result of our ap- proach, Arriva have made some ad- justments to their intended changes andmanyof the most sensitive have been mitigated. Despite this, there remains a negative impact for some passengers and the changes are likely to result in a negative reaction from the general public.” Arriva says that key improve-

ments include service 7 be- tween Maidstone and


01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

Business focus LOCAL business has always been a vital part of Downs Mail coverage and we have made our online Business Notice Board as a place for enterprises to com- municate, share ideas and promote themselves. It is FREE to use – details inside.


FREE No. 239

News Lockmeadow delays

A FACELIFT to transform the Lockmeadow entertainment cen- tre in the town centre has been delayed.

School expansion

OVER 20,000 school places must to satisfy house-building and rising birth rates.

5 Saxon Ramblin’ Men

HEAVY metal band Saxon kicks off the Ramblin’ Man fes- tival as gates open earlier. 6

Tributes to Sir John

WARM tributes have been paid to former MP Sir John Wells, who has died aged 91.

8 GPs work together

GPs in Maidstone and beyond are increasingly working to- gether in clusters.


Hazlitt talent tester 27

MAJOR stars will be encouraged to road test material at the Hazlitt Theatre.

Obituaries 34 Crime Reports 37

A RESTAURANT sign in Week Street was damaged; body and tyre damage was caused to a ve- hicle in Tarragon Road; jewellery was taken in a break-in at a house in Beverley Road after a patio door was forced; a Seat car was damaged in Tonbridge Rd.

Parish Councils 37

COLD callers continue to be a nuisance to residents in Loose; tree works have been carried out in the Hayle Park Nature Reserve, Tovil; The Medway Valley Line would receive a contribution of £75 from the parish council at Barming; parish councillors in Tovil have rejected a proposal to record meetings.

Comment 46 - 47 01622 880840 3

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