"Dinesh leads Residents' Call for Safer Crossing"

Local resident Dinesh Khadka presented a petition to install a pedestrian crossing.

At the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board meeting on Monday, local resident Dinesh Khadka presented a petition from 321 signatories calling on Kent County Council to install a pedestrian crossing at the junction of Old Tovil Road with Postley Road and Hayle Road.

Presenting the petition, Mr Khadka reminded the Board that many pedestrians and cyclists have to cross the A229 Maidstone gyratory near this junction every day, including vulnerable pedestrians such as the elderly, schoolchildren and people with visual impairments and other disabilities.

"When I moved to this area in 2010 I immediately felt unsafe and unsure when needing to cross this clearly dangerous road", said Mr Khadka. "Since I started taking our own children to nursery in 2012 it has become even clearer to me how difficult it is to cross with a push chair and young children."

Liberal Democrat Borough Councillor for High Street Ward, Denise Joy gave Mr Khadka her full support. Commenting afterwards, she said: "This is at the heart of a residential area of Maidstone with South Borough Primary School, the Sunshine Children's Centre, Little Stars Pre-School and Maidstone Grammar School all nearby. People have been campaigning for a safe crossing here since 1994 but heavy traffic flow from Loose Road into Maidstone has continued to worsen. Action must be taken now before more injuries or fatalities occur."

County Councillors Rob Bird and Dan Daley pledged that they would press KCC for this long-standing issue to be properly addressed as a matter of priority. "Maidstone Borough Council and KCC are both committed to promoting more sustainable transport by encouraging people to walk or cycle, rather than increasing car journeys. This will only happen and can only happen if we take the necessary measures to make it safe for people to cross dangerous roads such as this."