Agenda item

Questions/Statements by members of the public


Mr Edward Garret asked the following question to the Chairman:


Can the junction between Cranborne Avenue and Sutton Road remain open for cyclists please?


I read about the proposed closure of the junction between Cranborne Avenue and Sutton Road in the Downs Mail December 2015?


There is only one route that cyclists can cycle from the Loose area into central Maidstone and avoid the major roads.  The only route that keeps cyclists and cars apart is to cycle down Pheasant Lane, cross the traffic lights at the Wheatsheaf junction (on foot) then carry on down Cranborne Avenue.  This route nicely links up with Marion Crescent which is on the well signposted Shepway to Town Centre cycle route.  This keeps cyclists off both the busy Loose Road and the equally busy Sutton Road.


I can understand the reasons for closing the junction to cars as there are often queues of stationary cars pumping out exhaust fumes at this junction.  However if the junction was also closed to cyclists then those of us who commute by bicycle between the Loose area and central Maidstone would have to join the four lane Loose Road at this point, instead of cycling on quieter roads which link up directly with the designated cycle route.  I have been commuting by bicycle along Cranborne Avenue from the Wheatsheaf Junction since 2007 without incident, and I would like this route to stay open please.  Otherwise I (and I am sure other cyclists) would have to drive to work into central Maidstone to avoid cycling along the Loose Road, and the last thing we all need is more cars on the roads.


Can I have your assurance that there are no plans to stop cyclists using this junction please?



Mr Garret had advised that he would be unable to attend the meeting. In his absence the Chairman gave a verbal reply, to be sent to Mr Garrett as a written reply, as follows:


The full details of the scheme for the Wheatsheaf junction and possible closure of egress Cranbourne Avenue has still to be finalised.  The request for access for cyclists has been noted and will be considered in the design.



Mr Carlo Attubato asked the following question to the Chairman:


Before I start I would like to state that KCC have not presented or provided the information on the gyratory scheme clearly to residents. After contacting KCC to find this information I had to contact a Kent County Councillor directly in order to view a plan of the scheme.


I would like to ask the Board to consider the following proposal, as published previously in the November 2015 issue of the Downsmail:


The current bridge is not the problem. The problem is there is no way out to the North A229 or the south, the reason being that the traffic lights will remain in place.


My proposal is to:


·  Remove traffic lights from the A229 at the White Rabbit roundabout to speed traffic towards Blue Bell Hill and Boxley.


·  Create a footbridge near the pub and a one-way system that would allow Boxley-bound traffic to travel up Hardy Street and John Street, freeing up the bottom end of Boxley Road which would be one-way for those travelling towards Maidstone.


·  Ease traffic to the south by removing traffic lights on Palace Avenue, replacing it with a footbridge. Providing a right turn into Old Tovil Road, with traffic lights at Hayle Road, would keep traffic moving.


The work could be done in stages, avoiding the minimum four months of delays it is predicted the gyratory work will cause next year.


Would the Board support my proposal?


The Chairman replied that:


We thank Mr Attubato for his comments.  Consideration has been given to the proposals. 


However, the routes being proposed are not suitable for the suggested traffic volumes.  Construction of footbridges would require significant land acquisition and would therefore not be a cost effective solution.  All highway users must be considered when designing a new scheme and the removal of traffic signals and pedestrian crossing facilities does not satisfy this requirement. 


Information regarding the Bridges Gyratory can be found on with updates circulated through the local media accordingly. 


Mr David Cane addressed a statement to the Board regarding the proposed closure of Cranborne Avenue to exiting traffic. Mr Cane stated that this measure would cause an increase of traffic using minor undesignated residential roads. Traffic in north Shepway would either be pushed onto Armstrong Road and Postley Road, past Southborough School and via a 20 MPH restricted route, or would join the circulatory system in the town centre via Mote Road. Air pollution would not be resolved but relocated to another area.


Mr David Bates asked the following question to the Chairman:


Some of the key issues identified in the Integrated Transport Plan are admitted to be; increasing traffic congestion, poor air quality and parts of the road network operates at or near capacity, especially to the South of the Borough.  With a proposal in the Local Plan for 18,560 new homes, does the Committee agree with the 453 petitioners I presented earlier this evening, that the Integrated Transportation Plan for Cranborne Avenue is a desperately ill-conceived idea which is merely tinkering at the edge of the Wheatsheaf Junction problem and that all reference to Cranborne Avenue in that plan should be deleted?


The Chairman replied that:


Your comments have been noted.