Drivers ignoring peak-time ban on village roads
Months after a traffic regulation was put in place, villagers have branded it a frustrating failure.
For commuters using the A249 to get into Maidstone or to join the M20 junction 7, delays are part of the morning routine.
Unfortunately for people living in Detling village, people using the side roads to skip the regular peak-time hold-ups is also part of the norm.
Drivers may not be aware there is a traffic regulation order in place, prohibiting vehicles driving on roads through the village between 7am and 9.30am, except for access.
This order is in place on Pilgrims Way from its junction with The Street to its junction with Thurnham Lane, and on The Street, from its junction with the A249 to its junction with Church Lane.
Last week, Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Matt Adlington spent two mornings in the village, stopping drivers to advise them of the traffic order. Commuters found to be flouting the rules could face a fixed penalty notice or a fine. PCSO Adlington stopped about 100 drivers each day.
John Watson, who has lived in Detling for 16 years, says villagers are getting increasingly frustrated at the number of people using their residential streets as a rat run.
He said: “It doesn’t affect me personally in terms of where I live, because I don’t live on The Street, but it affects me when I’m trying to get anywhere in the morning. It’s not just the irritation and the time spent waiting to get out of the village, it’s that people are driving so irresponsibly. They speed straight through and they’re only interested in cutting 30 seconds off their journey.
“The signs have made absolutely no difference, you still get 500 to 700 cars coming through, people don’t take any notice of the signs. I think it’s only a matter of time until there’s a serious accident.”
Irene Bowie, chairman of Detling Parish Council, said proper enforcement was key: “So far PCSO Adlington has been educating drivers about the restrictions rather than handing out penalties, and we think this is fair, but now a number of drivers have been educated and proper enforcement will begin soon, so hopefully we’ll see an improvement for villagers.”