Members of Maidstone’s Joint Transport Board committee were shocked to learn that £2M of the £8.9M in government funding for key junction improvements in Maidstone (Maidstone’s Integrated Transport Strategy) had been reallocated for a junction in Tonbridge and Malling, even though board members had questioned this on several previous meetings.
The explanation that that there we no other Maidstone schemes which could be put forward was rejected by members who emphatically supported a proposal by Cllr Brian Clark and seconded by Cllr Derek Mortimer to remove the Tonbridge and Malling scheme from the plan, such that the funds can be used in Maidstone.
Cllr Clark later said, “I feel we had made it very clear that these funds were planned for Maidstone and we could not agree to £2M of the package being reallocated to Tonbridge and Malling when congestion in Maidstone is so severe. Members were united in the view that the money needs to be spent in Maidstone and I am very pleased that they endorsed my proposal"
Cllr Mortimer continued,”Sadly, we receive comparatively little from developer funding for road schemes so we had to do all that we could to ensure this significant level of funding for our county town was not lost. This is a victory for our town"
NB Maidstone’s Integrated Transport Strategy is estimated to require £14.25M in total with the £8.9M funded via the government through Local Growth Funding (SELEP), the remainder funded by housing developer contribution.