orderForm.noItems Maidstone Weald Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

December 2017

FREE No. 248

News Village breakaway?

HEADCORN is considering sever- ing ties with Maidstone Bor- ough Council and joining Ashford.

Cancer trek success

THE widow of a GP has trekked the Grand Canyon for a cancer charity.

SMART members Peter Rigby, Alan Moore, Sean Carter, Cllr Susan Grigg and Cllr Derek Mortimer

Time for SMART thinking on roads

TRAFFICcongestion in the borough has become so acute that any newre- lief road should extend beyond Langley to the Linton crossroads.

That is the opinion of South

Maidstone Action for Roads and Transport (SMART),which has un- dertaken detailed studies during its four-year existence and recent data showed 37,000 vehicle movements through the Wheatsheaf area in a single 12 hour period. Now SMART fears those figures

are likely to rise with the adoption ofMaidstone Council’s Local Plan, which will see 17,600 more homes built in the borough and another 7,000 imposed by the Government. Problems could become so acute

on theA274 and the Loose Road to Linton that a by-pass would have to be extended to cope. Maidstone Borough Council claims “modal shift” – encouraging residents to use public transport, cycle or walk, along with modest road improve- ments – can mitigate against the massive increase in traffic.

But Sean Carter, SMART chair-

man, told Downs Mail: “We have roads designed for the 1970s carry- ing hugely increased volumes of traffic.We are 40 years behind. “You cannot believe that modal

shift can mitigate against what is coming. It can’t.” SMART – which covers around

5,000 household in the area – has put forward a number of smaller measures which may help, includ- ing school bus laybys and allowing buses into Cornwallis Academy to drop students off safely and with- out roadside delays. Heavily subsidised public trans-

port networks operate in other parts of theworld and should hap- pen here, saysMrCarter,who lives in north Loose. Improved footpaths would encourage people to walk and there should be conditions for safer cycling.

SMART member and local bor-

ough councillor Susan Grigg said: “We don’twant to become another platform for whingeing but to do something constructive to help our part of the borough.” The Green Party says nitrous

oxide levels have averaged 73parts per million (ppm) this year at Wheatsheaf, almost double the legal limit of 40ppmand is the sec- ond most polluted site in the county town. It claims air pollution has been

implicated in heart disease, strokes, dementia and respiratory disease, resulting in an estimated 40,000 deaths annually in the UK. Spokesman Stuart Jeffery said:

“New housing and additional car journeys along the Sutton Road willmake one of themost polluted spots inMaidstone farworse. “We want a halt to suburban de-

velopment with a focus on new homes in urban areas close to pub- lic transport and jobs. We want an affordable and efficient bus service, decent cycle paths and pavements to reduce traffic levels overall and an increase in car parking charges to discourage car journeys into cen- tral Maidstone that could be made by bus, bicycle or on foot."

Home Alarms supplied and fitted visit or call 08000 199622 New Line progress

NEW Line Learning Academy acheives a promising Ofsted report.

8 Tribute to war hero

A PLAQUE to a Hunton man who won the Victoria Cross has been unveiled.

11 6 3


32 Parish Councils 36-38

A COUNCILLOR in Staplehurst has expressed concerns about the rising levels of crime; PCSO are no longer to attend parish council meetings in Linton; bay marking in the village hall car park in East Farleigh re- mains outstanding; there were re- ports of noise at the Costa coffee shop in Headcorn; the village club in Hunton has a new TV.

Crime Reports 38

A BURGLAR was disturbed during a break-in at West Farleigh; a car window was smashed in Hunton; tools, including a nail gun, were stolen from a shed in Marden; a dog was stolen from an outbuilding in Headcorn; an air rifle was taken from a shed in East Farleigh.

Comment 46-47

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