Solution to this traffic misery must be found
Talks concerning the Leeds-Langley relief road have rumbled on for at least 20 years, but the time for debate has now passed. False starts and endless discussions have only served to entrench the truth expressed by county councillor Paul Cooper after the most recent meeting: Most are in favour of a bypass and most are in favour of it being nowhere near them. Residents around Downswood want a bypass to ease noise and pollution while Langley Parish Council believes it won’t solve problems on Sutton Road and will simply create many more, as well as paving the way for more housing.
The relief road has become something of a political hot potato and there is no way of pleasing everyone, but as with many of Kent’s lingering infrastructure dilemmas we approach a time when any decision is better than this morass of uncertainty.
There will only be one chance to deliver a viable scheme, yet it will concern some that the plans have already been watered down. The indications now are that a relief road wouldn’t even come in the form of a dual carriageway as was originally mooted but a single carriageway road with a 50mph limit.
The support is there, the funds are, arguably, available. What is required is leadership and for Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council to work together to either deliver a relief road or some other scheme to bring an end to Maidstone’s traffic misery, rather than use the issue as ammunition in their own, well publicised disagreement.
The problem cannot and must not be swept under the carpet once more.