Joint Transportation Boards

To:                              Maidstone Joint Transport Board

By:                              Tim Read, Head of Transportation

Date:                          14th October 2015

Subject:                    Chatham Road Report – Experimental Traffic Regulation Order

Classification:         For Recommendation


Summary: Seeking recommendation to proceed with the recommendation in this report



1.0      Background

1.1      Lorry parking in Chatham Road has caused problems going back many years. These problems have manifested themselves in many formats ranging from antisocial behaviour in the form of verge fouling with human waste, litter and noise thorough to obstruction of buses and chemical spills resulting in costly resurfacing.  Previous attempts to address these issues have proved ineffective.

1.2      Historically Maidstone Borough Council applied double yellow lines to restrict parking closest to the Bluebells Estate.  This proved ineffective, as it was reliant on out of hours enforcement.

1.3      As a result in March 2014, we commenced on a Traffic Regulation Order to implement a Clearway restriction on all of Chatham Road with the exception of the marked lay-by areas and parking bays near Tyland Barn. The Clearway is a No Stopping restriction.

1.4      Following implementation of the Clearway it became apparent that Kent Police were unable to commit the necessary resources to enforce the restriction and other physical measures would be necessary.

2.0      Work undertaken


2.1      In January 2015 an experimental Traffic Regulation Order was commenced, the order involved extending the existing No Entry restriction at the northern end of Chatham Road south to the junction of Tollgate Way.  The purpose of this was to enable the temporary narrowing of the northern section of Chatham Road to one lane, thus preventing lorries from being able to stop, without entirely blocking the road.

2.2      The narrowing was achieved using bolt down bollards and temporary water filled traffic management blocks together with vertical traffic signage.

2.3      At the same time the speed limit was permanently reduced to 40mph to enable the temporary reduced lane widths and geometry.

2.4      South of Tollgate Way the road remains two way traffic, with a reduced total width of 5.5m. The signed car parking bays at Tyland Barn were protected from lorry parking with water filled traffic management blocks.

2.5      The footway was signed as a shared cycle, pedestrian and equestrian path, to enable the no entry section of Chatham Road to be bypassed. The path had minor works undertaken to facilitate the experimental Traffic Regulation Order, however it must be stressed that the path in its current format is substandard for this purpose.

3.0      Support and Objections

3.1      The Experimental Traffic Regulation Order was advertised  on the 9th January 2015, the period for objections ended on the 15th July 2015

3.2      Nineteen objections were received.  The vast majority from cyclists regarding the poor state of the shared use path.

3.3      There were seven offers of support for the scheme, the objections and offers of support are attached (appendix a)


4.0      Conclusion

4.1      The Experimental Traffic Regulation Order and associated temporary works   has been successful in addressing the problems associated with lorry parking in Chatham Road.

4.2      The car parking bays adjacent to Tyland Barn has experienced occasional problems when the water filled barriers get moved by lorry drivers, however in the main this is working.

4.3      The current poor condition of the shared cycle/ pedestrian/equestrian path (National cycle route 17) is not acceptable and must be addressed if this TRO is made permanent.  A bid for LTP funding has already been submitted and due to the strategic significance of the effective severing of a national cycle route, it is considered likely that this will be successful.


5.0      Recommendation

5.1      The measures implemented have largely addressed the problems which have blighted Chatham Road for many years.  It is recommended therefore that the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order be made permanent and that works to improve the shared path be implemented once funded.





Contact Officer: Michael Heath

Tel: 03000 418181