Forum says it has the solution for problem junction
Action group wants dedicated right-turn lane
A road which has been a headache for Maidstone motorists for years is the latest to come under the spotlight of the South Maidstone Action for Roads and Traffic forum (Smart).
Smart, made up of representatives from the North Loose Residents Association, Loose Parish Council, the Loose Amenities Association and the Valley Conservation Society, and supported by ward councillors Derek Mortimer and Susan Grigg, has been looking at the Armstrong Road junction.
It claims there is a relatively simple solution, as the traffic lights at the Loose Road junction suffers from the lack of a dedicated right-turn lane for southbound traffic, which causes delays for most of the day.
Recently, during works at Sheals Crescent, the northbound Loose Road was reduced to one lane between Armstrong Road and Sheals Crescent – yet this brought no discernible impact upon traffic flow.
Smart suggests this could be made permanent and the available road space could be used to add a dedicated right-turn lane into Armstrong Road, immediately ahead of the traffic signals.
Cllr Mortimer (Lib Dem, Maidstone South Ward) said: “This junction was improved in 1967 but following new residential and commercial developments it requires a long-awaited redesign. Improvements were considered two years ago and I understand modelling is now complete and funding is available.
“This junction in terms of improvements is relatively easy compared with others along the A229. Widening Loose Road to provide two lanes north and south through the junction plus dedicated right-turn lanes would be the ideal solution.
“A low-cost fix would be to widen the southbound approach by approximately 25 metres by moving the central traffic island to the west, thus creating space for a dedicated right-turn lane while leaving two lanes for through traffic.”
He added: “Pedestrian safety must also be a priority at this junction so protection between cars and pedestrians must be improved with guarding to stop cars vehicles using the footpath to gain position at the traffic lights, which currently occurs along Armstrong Road.”
Cllr Derek Mortimer