He­len Grant

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

My neigh­bour­ing col­league He­len Whately and I held a pub­lic meet­ing early last year at the Maid­stone Stu­dios to fa­cil­i­tate an open dis­cus­sion about the Maid­stone Lo­cal Plan.

The widely held view was that the bor­ough was plan­ning to build too many houses and this would wreak havoc on the al­ready strained trans­port sys­tem and wors­en­ing air qual­ity. Last week He­len and I found our­selves on the panel of an­other pub­lic meet­ing about the leg­endary Leeds-Lan­g­ley re­lief road, cited as a pos­si­ble source of con­ges­tion al­le­vi­a­tion to the south of Maid­stone.

With rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Kent County Coun­cil (KCC) and Maid­stone Bor­ough Coun­cil (MBC) also on the panel, sit­ting be­fore an au­di­ence of around 350 peo­ple, the meet­ing was im­pas­sioned. The scheme is con­tro­ver­sial, be­ing just one of a range of op­tions, and one that doesn’t suit ev­ery­one. An­other prob­lem is lack of money for such projects, al­though if an agreed scheme were to be iden­ti­fied, I would not shy away from seek­ing the funds from cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

While con­sid­er­able work on the var­i­ous route op­tions has al­ready been car­ried out, the next steps in­clude traf­fic sur­veys and scheme-spe­cific traf­fic mod­el­ling to al­low the ex­perts to ar­rive at a con­sen­sus. There needs to be a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.