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Maidstone Joint Transportation Board

18 October 2017


Highway Improvement Schemes Update


Decision Making Authority

Kent County Council

Lead Director

Roger Wilkin

Lead Head of Service

Tim Read

Lead Officer and Report Author

Brendan Wright/ John Farmer/ Russell Boorman

Wards and County Divisions affected

Wards: Leeds, Sutton Valence and Langley, North Downs, Boughton Monchelsea and Chart Sutton, Allington, Fant, Harrietsham and Lenham, Heath, Park Wood and Shepway South

County Divisions: Maidstone South East, Maidstone Rural South, Maidstone Rural East, and Maidstone Central

Which Member(s) requested this report?




This report makes the following recommendations:


For Information.  The Board are asked to note the contents of the Report, the on-going assessment and design work being undertaken and the commitments needed to support the delivery of the schemes.









Maidstone Joint Transportation Board

18 October 2017

Highway Improvement Schemes Update




1.1     This report provides a progress update on the various highway improvement schemes that have been the subject of reports or questions by members of the public at the previous meetings of this Committee held on 19th April and 12th July 2017.  





2.1  At the July 2017 JTB it was indicated that work would be undertaken on traffic surveys and modelling to inform a business case for any future government funding bid opportunities.  In the light of recent planning decisions, consideration of the funding and appropriate extent of that work and its procurement, in view of KCC’s existing consultancy contract ending in March 2018, is in hand.




3.1  Public engagement was held on the 18th August 2017 to allow the project team the opportunity to engage with the local community on the proposed junction realignment and understand their concerns with this essential scheme.


3.2 Feedback from the engagement event combined with responses to the dedicated project email address has been assessed accordingly and the main themes of concern identified.


3.3  Additional design work is currently being undertaken to address and mitigate these concerns where possible.


3.4  Investigations are also being carried out to explore the potential of providing a complementary improvement at the BP petrol station on the A274 Sutton Road.


3.5  Further targeted engagement events will then be arranged with the residents of Bell Meadow and Sutton Road in November/December 2017 to communicate the proposed alterations and welcome further feedback.


3.6  Liaison with the statutory undertakers is continuing to understand the requirements for diversionary works and these will continue to be progressed.


3.7  It is anticipated that the construction commencement date will be reviewed to allow sufficient time for future engagement events and allow diversionary works to be carried out prior to scheme commencement.


3.8  An update will be brought back to the JTB in January 2018 detailing the mitigating measures and further feedback from the public engagement events.

4.       B2246 HERMITAGE LANE


4.1    At the previous meeting of this Committee on 12th July 2017 the following question was raised on behalf of Mr. Keith Young:


We the users of this key link road Hermitage Lane are suffering from severe traffic congestion and unacceptable delays. The accompanying large accumulated time delay is costing local businesses and people thousands of pounds in irreplaceable lost time.


Existing local residents and local businesses deserve to know, from the decision making authority, how this unacceptable situation can be reduced or eliminated from now on?


4.2    Kent County Council’s response to the question acknowledged the concerns raised and the urgent need for road improvements that will reduce delays. A further update on the schemes being progressed as part of the Maidstone Integrated Transport Package was proposed for the October meeting of this Committee. 


4.3    Junction improvements on the B2246 Hermitage Lane commenced at the retail park junction on the 29th August 2017.  Temporary traffic signals that mirror the permanent timings have been adopted to minimise the disruption caused.  Good progress has been made to date and the scheme remains on programme for completion prior to the Christmas period.  Ongoing communication and engagement will continue throughout the construction phase.


4.4     Feasibility designs have now been completed on the Fountain Lane improvements identified at the St Andrews Road and Tonbridge Road junctions.  Detailed designs will commence in November 2017 and are due to be completed in April 2018.  During this period engagement with stakeholders will be undertaken accordingly. 


4.5    Designs are continuing to be undertaken on the Coldharbour roundabout.  Further topographical surveys are needed to assess the requirements of the traffic flows following the recent planning application for the Whitepost Field site at the junction of the A20/Hermitage Lane.  Access to the adjacent private land has been granted and the surveys will be carried out in October 2017.  The completed design work will then be combined with the designs for the M20 J5 and a Business Case submitted to the SELEP at the end of 2017 for approval of release of funding in 2018/19.  


4.6    Officers from Kent County Council, Maidstone Borough Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council recently met on 9th September 2017 in view of the continuing need for a co-ordinated approach to issues of cumulative traffic impact and mitigation in this area.    


4.7    The configuration of the sequence of new traffic signalled junctions along the Hermitage Lane corridor will facilitate safe access to new developments whilst making best use of the available highway capacity. In instances where junctions are in close proximity to each other, such as at the Retail Park/A20 and at Tarragon Road/Orchard Fields, the signals will operate as a linked arrangement to assist traffic flow. 

5.       A20 HARRIETSHAM


5.1     Road improvements are proposed on the A20 at Harrietsham to support new housing development. The proposals involve the narrowing of the carriageway, the lowering of the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph and the provision of new sections of footway and pedestrian crossing facilities.


5.2     At the previous meeting of this Committee on 12th July 2017, a petition was presented by Mr. Roots on behalf of local residents. This requested that the scheme include ‘the provision of a pedestrian footway along the southern side of the highway linking the (Mayfield Nursery) development with the existing bus stop and an uncontrolled crossing in the close vicinity of the existing bus stop’. It also urged that such provision be in place prior to first occupation of the Mayfield Nursery development.


5.3     Kent County Council, as Local Highway Authority, has now assigned the scheme to an in-house project engineer. Site surveys are currently being undertaken in order to develop a design that is based on the outline scheme prepared on behalf of Maidstone Borough Council.


5.4     A meeting with the petitioner is due to take place on 11 October 2017 to ensure that the concerns raised are fully understood and can inform the design process.   




6.1  For Information.  The Board are asked to note the contents of the Report, the on-going assessment and design work being undertaken and the contribution that others can help make towards supporting the delivery of the schemes.





7.1   None