Fo­rum says it has the so­lu­tion for prob­lem junc­tion

Ac­tion group wants ded­i­cated right-turn lane

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Alan Smith aj­smith@thek­m­ @aj­smithKM

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

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