Following vocal lobbying for over 10 years at KCC and at Maidstone’s Joint Transport Board, Lib Dems in South Maidstone are finally gaining improvements along the A229 corridor. Kent County Council has just this week endorsed moving forward with the A229 corridor improvements, funding for which was initially agreed with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership in 2014.
N.B. photos were taken pre-pandemic
KCC will now complete the designs and surveys for the schemes, enter into construction contract discussion and - where necessary - develop land purchase agreements.
The corridor works are tentatively scheduled for construction starting in July 2021 and completed by Summer next year. These works are intended to ease congestion by adding further lane space along sections of the corridor and a traffic light-controlled roundabout at the Wheatsheaf site. There is still further work to be completed on the design at the Swan junction, where officers have yet to develop a layout which shows sufficient benefit for the cost involved.
The news was cautiously welcomed by Cllr Paul Wilby (Lib Dem MBC South Ward) who said, “I am delighted that desperately needed planned works along the corridor requested by Councillors Brian Clark, Derek Mortimer and myself are progressing, but while the designs are still to be locked in, my colleagues and I share concerns about the layout shown in the papers, which include the removal of verge space at Boughton Parade.” He continued, “this could compromise safety and have minimal effect on the chronic traffic issue at this point, namely leaving Boughton Lane and Cripple Street at peak hours.”
Cllr Derek Mortimer (Lib Dem MBC South Ward), continued, “We welcome the improvements at Armstrong Road and the Wheatsheaf which have incorporated suggestions from all south ward councillors, and will work with KCC highways on finalising the designs taking into consideration the views of local residents”.