Your Councillors


Consultation Questionnaire

 

Kent County Council (KCC) is seeking your views on the proposals being put forward for A229 Blue Bell Hill Junction Improvement Scheme and have provided this feedback questionnaire for you to give your comments. Your responses will help us to develop the design of the scheme.

 

This questionnaire can be completed online at kent.gov.uk/a229bluebellhill.

 

If you are unable to complete online, please fill in this Word version and return to

 

Email: A229bluebellhill@kent.gov.uk

 

Address: A229 Blue Bell Hill Junction Improvement Scheme, Major Capital Programme Team, Kent County Council, 1st Floor Invicta House, County Hall, Maidstone ME14 1XX.

 

What information do you need before completing the questionnaire?

We recommend that you visit our virtual exhibition or view the consultation material online kent.gov.uk/a229bluebellhill before responding to this questionnaire.

 

If you have any questions you can email us at A229bluebellhill@kent.gov.uk or call

03000 42 14 37. This number goes to an answering machine. Please leave a message and someone will get back to you.              

 

Please ensure your response reaches us by 23:59 Monday 19 October 2020.

 

Privacy: Kent County Council (KCC) collects and processes personal information in order to provide a range of public services.  KCC respects the privacy of individuals and endeavours to ensure personal information is collected fairly, lawfully, and in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018. Read the full Privacy Notice at the end of this document.

 

Alternative formats: If you require any of the consultation material in an alternative format or language, please email: alternativeformats@kent.gov.uk or call: 03000 42 15 53 (text relay service number: 18001 03000 42 15 53). This number goes to an answering machine, which is monitored during office hours.


Section 1 – About You

 

Q1.   Please tell us in what capacity you are completing this questionnaire:

Please select the option from the list below that most closely represents how you will be responding to this consultation.  Please select one option.

 

 

As a Kent resident

 

As a resident from somewhere else, such as Medway

 

A representative of a local community group or residents’ association

P

On behalf of a Parish / Town / Borough / District Council in an official capacity

 

A Parish / Town / Borough / District / County Councillor

 

On behalf of an educational establishment, such as a school or college

 

On behalf of a local business

 

On behalf of a charity, voluntary or community sector organisation (VCS)

 

Other, please specify:

 

 

Q1a.    If you are responding on behalf of an organisation (business, community group, residents’ association, council or any other organisation), please tell us the name of your organisation: Please write in below.

Maidstone Borough Council

 

Q2.  Please tell us the first five characters of your postcode:

ME15 6

Please do not reveal your whole postcode. We use this to help us to analyse our data. It will not be used to identify who you are.

 

Q3.      Please tell us how often you travel on the A229 Blue Bell Hill (including the M2 Junction 3 or M20 Junction 6 interchanges of the A229) using the following methods of transport.

Please select one option for each type of transport. If you are responding on behalf of an organisation, please skip this question and move onto question 4.

 

 

 

Five or more times a week

A couple of times a week

Less frequently

Not applicable (e.g. never travel in this way)

Bicycle

 

 

 

 

Bus

 

 

 

 

Motorbike

 

 

 

 

Private car – as a driver

 

 

 

 

Private car - as a passenger

 

 

 

 

Taxi – as a driver

 

 

 

 

Taxi – as a passenger

 

 

 

 

Van or lorry

 

 

 

 

Walking

 

 

 

 

Other, please specify:

 

 

 

 

 


Section 2 – The Scheme

 

You can provide feedback on all or as many of the questions as you like. If you would rather not provide feedback on a question just move on to the next question.

 

The consultation material sets out why we think this scheme is necessary, please see exhibition board 2 and/or page 7 in the consultation brochure for more information.

 

Q4.      To what extent do you agree or disagree that improvements are required to the A229 Blue Bell Hill, including the M2 Junction 3 and M20 Junction 6 interchanges?

Please select one option.

 

Strongly agree

 

Tend to agree

P

Neither agree nor disagree

 

Tend to disagree

 

Strongly disagree

 

Don’t know

 



Q4a.    Please tell us the reason for your answer to Q4 in the box below:
We ask you not to identify yourself within your response.

 

Maidstone Borough Council agrees in principle that the proposed changes are needed as it has been identified in the reasons on page 7 of the consultation brochure. This is supported by its own evidence base for the Maidstone Local Plan 2017, emerging evidence base for the Maidstone Local Plan Review and other strategies.

Please find below comment on the reasons proposed why the improvement works are necessary.

Reduce congestion

Work undertaken for the Council in 2016 to support the Maidstone Local Plan 2017 identified congestion at junction 6. This has been identified again in 2020 through the stage 1 transport modelling work undertaken for the Council as part of the Local Plan Review process. Therefore, the Council supports this reasoning.

Road safety

No comment to make.

Improve air quality

In 2018 junctions 6 and 7 of the M20 and a larger proportion of the Maidstone urban area were included in an air quality management area. The Council therefore agrees that this is a reason for the proposal. It should be noted that any proposal should be in line with the Council’s commitments to improve air quality as outlined in the Low Emissions Strategy 2017 and the adopted Maidstone Local Plan 2017 Policy DM 6.

Support local growth

Maidstone Borough Council agrees that local growth will have an impact on the road network and so the proposed improvements may be required. However, it is concerned that the wrong development figures are being used. The consultation appears to be using the adopted Local Plan 2017 figure of 883 residential units per year to calculate growth. These are too low as the latest housing need figures used in the Local Plan Review are 1,214 residential units per annum. The Council does see the logic of why Local Plan 2017 adopted figure is used. However, we would request that the further modelling takes into consideration the higher need figure of 1,214 per annum being used by Maidstone Borough Council in the Local Plan Review.

The Council also notes that Lower Thames Crossing has been used as a reason for the need for the improvement works and would support that conclusion. The location of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing will mean that M20 junction 6 becomes a bifurcation point for traffic travelling from the channel crossing points and heading north or vice versa. Therefore, making improvement works vital to this section of the A229.

 

 


 


Q5.      To what extent do you agree or disagree with the objectives for the scheme?
Please select one response for each objective.

 

Objective

Strongly agree

Tend to agree

Neither agree nor disagree

Tend to disagree

Strongly disagree

Don’t know

1.    To improve journey time reliability at M2 Junction 3 and M20 Junction 6 interchanges of the A229

P

 

 

 

 

 

2.    To reduce congestion along the route

 

P

 

 

 

 

3.    To enable the local area to develop in accordance with population and housing growth predicated under Local Plans

 

P

 

 

 

 

4.    To reduce the impact of additional traffic from the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) and allow LTC to maximise its potential

P

 

 

 

 

 

5.    To improve road safety and address known accident hotspots

P

 

 

 

 

 

6.    To make best use of existing infrastructure assets including land and highways

P

 

 

 

 

 

7.    To provide suitable routes and facilities for public transport

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objective

Strongly agree

Tend to agree

Neither agree nor disagree

Tend to disagree

Strongly disagree

Don’t know

8.    To provide a safe and attractive route for pedestrians and cyclists

P

 

 

 

 

 

9.    To improve air quality in the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)

P

 

 

 

 

 

10. To protect and enhance the local environment

 

P

 

 

 

 


Q5a.   Please add any comments you would like to make about the objectives in the box below:

We ask you not to identify yourself within your response. 

 

Maidstone Borough Council mainly agrees with the objectives set out for the scheme. It is felt that these broadly reflect the Council’s own priorities set out in its Strategic Plan 2019-2045. These priorities include:

              Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure

              Safe, Clean and Green

              Homes and Communities

              A Thriving Place

The Council does have concerns with regards to three of the objectives, and they should be adjusted. These are objectives 2, 3 and 10.

The Council feels that objective 2: To reduce congestion along the route’ should be adjusted. It is felt that it should be adjusted to also seek to not cause or enhance congestion on surrounding routes because of the proposals. Amended wording may be: ‘To reduce congestion along the route and not caused/enhance congestions on surrounding routes’.

Objective 3: ‘To enable the local area to develop in accordance with population and housing growth predicated under Local Plans’ should also be adjusted. The objective should state: ‘To enable the local area to develop in accordance with population, housing employment, retail, leisure and other commercial growth predicated under Local Plans’. These are highlighted as other key components of growth identified in the National Planning Policy Framework (2019) paragraph 20a and should be included.

The Council does wish to ensure that objective 10 ‘to protect and enhance the local environment’ specifically takes account of the need to safeguard, conserve, and enhance the Kent Downs AONB and North Downs Woodlands Special Area of Conservation due to their close proximity to the proposed improvement works. Both are protected in planning policy; the conservation of the Kent Downs AONB is specifically part of the adopted Maidstone Borough Council Local Plan 2017 spatial vision and objectives.

 




 

 

This consultation provides details of three options for improvements. This scheme is still in an early phase of design and therefore the options are not definitive. The final option selected could be one of the three options currently proposed or it could involve a combination of works proposed under each of the different options.


Q6.      Do you think that Option 1 would achieve the scheme objectives listed in Q5?

Please select one option.

 

Yes

P

Partly

 

No

 

Don’t know

 

Q6a.    Please tell us the reason for your answer to Q6 in the box below:

We ask you not to identify yourself within your response. 

 

It is difficult for Maidstone Borough Council to assess a lot of the proposed objectives against proposed schemes as the consultation is lacking technical evidence to support it. Specifically, it feels unable to assess the following objectives: 1,2,4,5 and 9 for this reason.

However, it is felt that option 1 would achieve objectives: 6,7 and 10. The reasons for this are the location of the proposed scheme mean that a minimal amount of new land would need to be used and so best use of existing infrastructure is made allowing the existing public transport routes to be maintained, and a minimal impact on the environment.

However, it is felt that option 1 will negatively impact on objective 8. Specifically the footpath and National Cycle Path 17 adjacent to the eastern side of the A229 are mentioned as being affected and ‘alternative’ provision being provided; more information is required on this alternative provision in order to make an assessment as to whether it is a suitable replacement.

The authority cannot make a judgement relating to objective 3 until further evidence is provided. This is in line with the points made above as all the assessments relating to these objectives would need to be reviewed together for a conclusion to be drawn as to objective 3.

 


 

 

Q7.      Do you think that Option 2 would achieve the scheme objectives listed in Q5?

Please select one option.

 

Yes

P

Partly

 

No

 

Don’t know

 

Q7a.    Please tell us the reason for your answer to Q7 in the box below:

We ask you not to identify yourself within your response. 

 

It is difficult for Maidstone Borough Council to assess a lot of the proposed objectives against proposed schemes as the consultation is lacking technical evidence to support it. Specifically, it feels unable to assess the following objectives: 1,2,4,5 and 9 for this reason.

The Council feels that option 2 would achieve objectives: 6 and 7. The reasons for this are the location of the proposed scheme mean that a minimal amount of new land would need to be taken and so best use of existing infrastructure is made allowing the existing public transport routes to be maintained, and a minimal impact on the environment.

However, it is felt that option 2 will negatively impact on objective 8. Specifically the footpath and National Cycle Path 17 adjacent to the eastern side of the A229 are mentioned as being affected and ‘alternative’ provision being provided; more information is required on this alternative provision in order to make an assessment as to whether it is a suitable replacement.

The Council also has concerns with regards to how the scheme meets objective 10. The concern is regarding impact of widening of the A229 south bound carriageway. This is likely to mean further cutting into the scarp slope of the North Downs AONB plus the adjoining North Downs Woodland Special Area of Conservation (SAC) whereby a Habitat Regulations Assessment would apply.

The authority cannot make a judgement relating to objective 3 until further evidence is provided. This is in line with the points made above as all the assessments relating to these objectives would need to be reviewed together for a conclusion to be drawn as to objective 3.


 

 

Q8.      Do you think that Option 3 would achieve the scheme objectives listed in Q5?

Please select one option.

 

Yes

P

Partly

 

No

 

Don’t know

 

Q8a.    Please tell us the reason for your answer to Q8 in the box below:

We ask you not to identify yourself within your response. 

 

It is difficult for Maidstone Borough Council to assess a lot of the proposed objectives against proposed schemes as the consultation is lacking technical evidence to support it. Specifically, it feels unable to assess the following objectives: 1,2,4,5 and 9.

It is felt that option 3 would have an impact on objectives 6, 7 and 8.

Then proposed provision of a whole new junction on the M20 would mean the need to take new land for development. As a result the scheme does not make best use of the existing network (objective 6).

The removal of the bus route connection along Forstal Lane and “alternatives” to be provided are unclear. At present the Council does not feel that this option therefore accords with objective 7. More information is required on this alternative provision to make an assessment as to whether it is a suitable replacement.

In addition to options 1 and 2 the Council feels option 3 will negatively impact on objective 8. Specifically the footpath and National Cycle Path 17 adjacent to the eastern side of the A229 are mentioned as being affected by the scheme and ‘alternative’ provision being provided. More information is required on this alternative provision to make an assessment as to whether it is a suitable replacement. Plus, public right of way KH16 would be affected by the proposals.

The Council also has concerns with regards to how the scheme meets objective 10. The concern is regarding impact of widening of the A229 south bound carriageway. This is likely to mean further cutting into the scarp slope of the North Downs AONB plus the adjoining North Downs Woodland Special Area of Conservation (SAC) whereby a Habitat Regulations Assessment would apply.

The authority cannot make a judgement relating to objective 3 until further evidence is provided. This is in line with the points made above as all the assessments relating to these objectives would need to be reviewed together for a conclusion to be drawn as to objective 3.

 


 

 

Q9.      Do you have a preferred option for the A229 Blue Bell Hill Junction Improvement Scheme? Please select one option.

 

 

Option 1

 

Option 2

 

Option 3

 

None, I don’t like any of the options

 

No preference, I don’t mind which option is selected 

P

Don’t know

 

Q9a.    Please tell us the reason for your answer to Q9 in the box below:

We ask you not to identify yourself within your response. 

 

At the present stage, the Council does not currently have a preferred option as it feels that there is not yet enough technical evidence to make an informed judgement as to the disadvantages and benefits to the proposed options.


 

 

As we are in the early design phase, the environmental impact of the three options is in the process of being identified. See exhibition board 7 and/or page 18 of the consultation brochure for more information.

 

Q10.    We welcome your feedback on any potential environmental impacts. Please add any comments below:   

We ask you not to identify yourself within your response.

 

Maidstone Borough Council agrees with the list of environmental impacts that have been identified on page 18 of the consultation brochure. As previously mentioned in the comments relating the options, (questions 6 to 8) the Council does have concerns about how the schemes will impact both the Kent Downs AONB and the North Downs Woodland Special Area of Conservation.

The Council is though willing to work alongside Kent County Council as and when the studies on each of the environmental impacts identified have been completed to come to the best conclusion for the Borough.




 


To help ensure that we are meeting our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 we have undertaken Equality Impact Assessment (EqIAs).

An EqIA is a tool to assess the impact any proposals would have on the protected characteristics: age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, religion, and carer’s responsibilities. The EqIAs is available online at kent.gov.uk/a229bluebellhill or in hard copy on request.

Q11.    We welcome your views on our equality analysis and if you think there is anything we should consider relating to equality and diversity. Please add any comments below:

We ask you not to identify yourself within your response. 

 

No comment.


 


 


Section 3 – The Consultation


Q12.   How did you find out about this consultation?
Please select all that apply 

 

Postcard delivered to my home / business

P

Email notification

 

Newspaper article

 

From my Parish / Town / Borough / District Council

 

From a friend or relative

 

Social Media (Facebook or Twitter)

 

Kent.gov.uk website

 

Saw a poster

 

From a local business

 

Other, please specify:

 




 


For this consultation we used a virtual consultation hub to create an
online exhibition with a video and exhibition boards. This is the first time we have used this software and we would welcome your feedback.

 

Q13.   Did you find the virtual consultation hub easy to use?

Please select one option.

 

Yes

 

No

P

Partly

 

I didn't look at it

 

I wasn’t able to access the virtual consultation hub

 

Q13a. Please add any comments on the virtual consultation hub in the box below:

We ask you not to identify yourself within your response.
 

 

 

 

 


 


Section 4 – More About You

We want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and equally, and that no one gets left out. That's why we are asking you these questions. We won't share the information you give us with anyone else. We’ll use it only to help us make decisions and improve our services.

If you would rather not answer any of these questions, you don't have to.

It is not necessary to answer these questions if you are responding on behalf of an organisation.

 

Q14.    Are you….? Please select one option.

 

Male

 

Female

 

I prefer not to say

 

Q15.    Which of these age groups applies to you? Please select one option.

0-15

 

16-24

 

25-34

 

35-49

 

50-59

 

60-64

 

65-74

 

75-84

 

85+ over

 

I prefer not to say

 

 

The Equality Act 2010 describes a person as disabled if they have a long standing physical or mental condition that has lasted, or is likely to last, at least 12 months; and this condition has a substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. People with some conditions (cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS, for example) are considered to be disabled from the point that they are diagnosed.

 


 

Q16.    Do you consider yourself to be disabled as set out in the Equality Act 2010? Please select one option.

 

Yes

 

No

 

I prefer not to say

 

Q16a. If you answered ‘Yes’ to Q16, please tell us the type of impairment that applies to you.

You may have more than one type of impairment, so please select all that apply. If none of these applies to you, please select ‘Other’ and give brief details of the impairment you have.

 

 

Physical impairment

 

Sensory impairment (hearing, sight or both)

 

Longstanding illness or health condition, or epilepsy

 

Mental health condition

 

Learning disability

 

I prefer not to say

 

Other

 

Other, please specify:

 

 


 

A Carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Both children and adults can be carers.

Q17.    Are you a Carer? Please select one option.

 

Yes

 

No

 

I prefer not to say

 

Q18.    To which of these ethnic groups do you feel you belong? Please select one option. (Source 2011 Census)

White English

 

Mixed White and Black Caribbean

 

White Scottish

 

Mixed White and Black African

 

White Welsh

 

Mixed White and Asian

 

White Northern Irish

 

Mixed Other*

 

White Irish

 

Black or Black British Caribbean

 

White Gypsy/Roma

 

Black or Black British African

 

White Irish Traveller

 

Black or Black British Other*

 

White Other*

 

Arab

 

Asian or Asian British Indian

 

Chinese

 

Asian or Asian British Pakistani

 

I prefer not to say

 

Asian or Asian British Bangladeshi

 

 

 

Asian or Asian British Other*

 

 

 

 

*Other - If your ethnic group is not specified on the list, please describe it here:

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire; your feedback is important to us. All feedback received will be reviewed and considered in the development of our proposals.

 

We will report back on the feedback we receive, but details of individual responses will remain anonymous and we will keep your personal details confidential.

 

Closing date for responses: 19 October 2020


Consultation Privacy Notice

Last updated: 13 January 2020

Who are we?

Kent County Council collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws. Our Data Protection Officer is Benjamin Watts.

The personal information we collect and use

Information collected by us

In the course of responding to Consultations published by Kent County Council we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:

  • Postcode
  • Email address if you want updates on a specific consultation
  • Feedback on the consultation
  • Equalities Data - Ethnicity, Religion, Sexuality, Disability or if you are a Carer

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How we use your personal information

We use your personal information to inform you of the outcome of the consultation, if you have requested updates. 

 

We may use your postcode to carry out a type of profiling to estimate which one of a number of lifestyle groups you are most likely to fall into.  We do this using geodemographic segmentation tools. We do not make any decisions about individual service users based solely on automated processing, including profiling.

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We will hold your personal information for up to 6 years following the closure of a consultation.

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And

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The provision of contact details, including name, address or email address is required from you to enable us to respond to your feedback on consultations.

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Further, the processing is necessary for the purposes of identifying or keeping under review the existence or absence of equality of opportunity or treatment between groups of people with the view to enabling such equality to be promoted or maintained.

You can read KCC’s Equality Policy on our website http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/corporate-policies/equality-and-diversity

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If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at data.protection@kent.gov.uk.

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You can contact our Data Protection Officer, Benjamin Watts, at dpo@kent.gov.uk. Or write to Data Protection Officer, Kent County Council, Sessions House, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XQ.

The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or telephone 03031 231113.

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