orderForm.noItems MBC has been reducing the scope of

Park and Ride for some years. A service which at one time boasted the newest buses running every 12 minutes, now has ta�y elderly vehicles every 20 minutes. It is difficult to see how Maidstone Park

and Ride can survive. It has suffered death by stealth. With diminishing use, it will deteriorate to the point where MBC will disconnect the lifeline. But I doubt if there is a realistic plan to accommodate the town centre workers who use the service. David Hall, Fremlins Road, Bearsted

Decision will hit traders

ALTHOUGH I am not entirely surprised to read about the council’s decision to axe the Park and Ride service, it saddens me we may lose a very valuable service. Whilst I appreciate the scheme cannot

be run at a loss, why have the council wasted money changing the ticket purchases, which were perfectly adequate, and extending the times of the buses? The new system has discouraged a lot of people from using the service. Could the number of buses be decreased during off- peak hours? Anyone trying to travel into Maidstone

will appreciate how busy our roads are. If the service was to disappear altogether, this would make our roads even more congested. I thought we were trying to encourage everyone to use different forms of transport rather than adding to our busy roads. The council seems to be a li�le short-

sighted. If the service were to end, are we not discouraging people from visiting and working in the town? Our high street is struggling, so why make it harder for people to come into town? Other towns throughout the country operate successful schemes, so why can’t we? D Woodroff, Kingswood

Road decision applauded

WITH reference to the planning commi�ee meeting on Thursday November 9, I was pleased to see the application to put a road through a small

ancient woodland was defeated. MBC planners have been responsible for

some dire decisions over the years, so it is good to see councillors taking an active interest in decision-making. The application was to construct a route

through the woodland to access a landlocked field to construct over 70 houses. The option preferred was over a mile-long round trip to access the field, passing existing, newly-built homes. The development is Hermitage Park,

between Allington and Barming. Each dwelling generates an average

seven trips per day. That would equate to 500 miles per day along this stretch of road, leading to excessive pollution, causing yet more damage to trees and wildlife. It would mean the removal of up to 152 trees and would decimate the bluebell population. It would dissect a footpath through the woods which is used by many for leisure, pleasure and exercise, causing them to stop and negotiate traffic. A great deal of the edge of the

woodland, a protective barrier of small trees and shrubs, has already been removed and the deterioration is evident. All this with planning officers saying “it is all within planning guidelines”. If that’s the case, the guidelines need changing. The residents of Maxwell Drive are

enduring months of dirt, dust and noise while water and drainage are installed. There are no buses and Howard Drive is blocked, leading to a mile-long round trip to get to the A20. No compensation or reduction in community charge for the duration of the works has been offered. The impact of development on

Hermitage Lane, the main route to Maidstone Hospital, along with all the other developments which have been allowed, is only too evident and will only get worse. Ann Bates, Howard Drive, Allington

No weather for rugby

THE planning application for the huge residential and commercial development at the top of Detling Hill (Binbury Park) is a�racting le�ers of support from

Maidstone Rugby Club, who are hoping to be helped to relocate there. The Bimbury Lane Residents’

Association warns the rugby club that a unique winter climate exists here, when frost and fog often persist for days, sometimes weeks, which would likely lead to cancellation of matches and training. Just consider the number of point to point meetings that have been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. Rosemary Ballard, Bimbury Lane Residents Association, Detling

Get planners out in traffic

IT took me over an hour on Tuesday to travel from the Leisure Centre at Mote Park to Allington due to the heavy traffic. Do KCC Highways officers, who always

raise no objection to new development, ever drive through Maidstone at busy times? I can't believe they do otherwise surely they would see the dire consequences of their actions. Malcolm Luxton, Chestnut Street, Borden

Wood theft hit reserve

SOMEONE is si�ing comfortably by their wood-burning stove, enjoying the warmth generated by the timber they stole this week from Fant Wildlife Reserve. The wood was scheduled to be used in

the restoration of a wetland, pond dipping and wildlife habitat. This work cannot be completed until we are able to resource some replacement timber for which we have very limited funding. There is also limited time left for the volunteers to carry out the works. A considerable number of the

conservation volunteers who work on these community enhancement projects are in their sixties or older. They may suffer with age-related complaints which slow up how much work they can do in a session, so supplies that may look surplus to requirement or abandoned, are just waiting for the volunteer to have the energy to do the work. R G Luck Maidstone

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Maidstone January 2019 39 Malling


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