News M20 upgrade to take two years

THEdesigns and dates for work to turn theM20 into a so-called “smart”motorway near Maidstone have been announced - at a cost of more than £90m to the tax-payer and two years of disruption.

It will mean two years of road-

works on the key transport corridor from March, with the first lane clo- sures already being experienced as the preparation work begins. Highways England says themove

to increase capacity between junc- tion 3 nearWest Malling and junc- tion 5, near Aylesford, will create four live traffic lanes in both direc- tions by removing the current hard shoulder. However, it concedes there will be disruption, adding: “It is anticipated that narrow lanes traffic manage- ment, temporary concrete safety barriers and speed restrictions will be put in place. Junction layouts may be temporarily altered to allow for resurfacing and improvement. “There will be temporary closures

of the carriageways at night on some occasions.” News of the project was wel- comed by Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat, who has been pressing for improvements to re- lieve congestion on the busy route. He said: “The M20 is a key road connecting the country with Eu- rope, but it suffers from severe de- lays.We see when Operation Stack is in force, the impact of this on all

Pedestrian hit WITNESSES are being urged to come forward after a man was left with serious injuries following an accident in Maidstone over the Bank Holiday. The man, in his 90s, is being treated at a London hospital after being hit by a lorry in King Street, near its junction with Church Street on Friday,August 25. The accident involving the pedestrian happened at about 2pm and involved a white lorry. Anyone who saw the collision is

asked to call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 01622 798538, quoting the reference number AW/DM/191/17, or email

Bar’s upgrade MAIDSTONE’S Banks Bar has an- nounced it will be reopening on Saturday, September 16, as a lux- ury venue after a refurbishment. The Bank Street nightspot has

been empty since it closed in 2015, but the new team says on Facebook that it has been working on reno- vating it to “a really, really high standard.” Inside the over-21s venue, there

will be four rooms on two floors with two cocktail bars, two dance- floors, a draught and craft beer bar and a terraced balcony outside.

4 Malling September 2017

Highways England says CCTV cameras will improve emergency service response times and variable, mandatory speed limits will im- prove the flow of traffic further on the new road. A spokesman said the work is needed to deal with “significant congestion” resulting from large car and freight volumes to and from London and the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel at Folkestone. Headded: “This is of considerable

local and national economic and po- litical importance.” For lorries travelling to Dover

Tonbridge and Malling MP TomTugendhat at the M20

our local roads becomes severe. That’s why I’ve been pushing for Highways England to make it a “smart” motorway, and I am pleased this is happening.” Mr Tugendhat said he would be interested to see the plans and urged residents to attend local events where Highways England will explain the scheme. He added: “You can turn up, ask questions and view the works as they will initially cause disruption.”

The project, which will be carried

out by Carillion Kier, will cost £92.17 million and has a completion date of January 2020. Work will also involve replacing Addington foot- bridge - brought down by a lorry in August last year; the reconfiguration of junction layouts; the creation of five emergency refuges, with phones, and a raised concrete cen- tral reservation. Noise barriers will be replaced and new ones added where necessary.

there will be specific diversion route announcements in the coming months, including information about Operation Stack arrange- ments. The public can view the plans and

ask questions at three exhibitions in the area:  September 15 – Ryarsh Village Hall, Birling Road (3-9pm).  September 16 – Trottiscliffe Vil- lage Hall, ChurchLane (10am-5pm).  September 22 and 23 – Commu- nity Hall, Capel Morris Centre, Hall Road, Royal British Legion Village, Aylesford (3-9pm and 10am-5pm respectively).

Lions’ charity

car park to go A CHARITY in Maidstone has thanked motorists who have helped raise thousands of pounds for local causes after being told their parking arrangement in the town has to cease. Maidstone Lions Club say fans at

Assault pairwanted

POLICE are searching for this pair in connection with an alleged vio- lent assault in which amanwas left with a fractured eye socket and bro- ken teeth. Officers investigating a reported assault in Maidstone onAugust 29 have releasedCCTVimages of two people they believe can help with their enquiries. A statement said: “At around 10.30pm, an 18-year-old man, was walking with four friends along Loose Road towards the town cen- tre when the occupants of a dark Ford Fiesta shouted at them as it drove past. The car was subse- quently seen to drive intoParkway. “As the victim and his friends ap- proached the junction with Heather

Drive, it is reported the group who had been in the car, described as five men and a woman, ran down the road and assaulted the victim. Hefell to the floor where the group continued to punch and kick him. “The suspects left the scene and

the victim attended a local hospital for medical attention to injuries de- scribed as a fractured eye socket, broken teeth and bruises.” Officerswould like to speak with anyone who recognises the man or woman in the CCTV images or who believes they have informa- tion.Witnesses can call Kent Police on 01622 604100 quoting reference YY/24703/17. Alternatively, contact Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

the football club has supported the use of the Countygate car park on match days since their new sta- dium opened in 2012. But Lions Club fundraising chair-

man Malcolm Luxton, whose mem- bers have manned the car park voluntarily for charity for more than five years, has been told it will no longer be at their disposal. He said: “Every penny of the money that the Lions club have re- ceived from football fans has been used for charitable purposes in the Maidstone area. Unfortunately,we have now been denied the use of the ‘old Job Centre’ half of the site for the foreseeable future by agents acting on behalf of the owners. “Maidstone Lions Club would

like to thank all the football fans who have generously given dona- tions for parking over the years.” The Lions organisation, which is celebrating its centenary, raised £1.6m for communities in the south east alone last year.

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