Wheels are turning on cycle lane scheme
A cycle path has been given the go ahead - despite concerns people will not use it.
The proposed route from Maidstone East train station to Mote Park was approved by councillors at the town’s joint transport board meeting last week. Cyclists will have a designated lane from Mote Avenue through Chancery Lane to the underpass by Sainsbury’s supermarket in Romney Place.
However, some councillors abstained from voting, claiming the scheme needed more thought.
Kent Cllr Eric Hotson (Con) said: “I go along Mote Avenue every work day and I’ve never seen a cyclist. I must hope and pray this will work but I’m not going to vote for this or against it, I’m going to abstain.”
He added routes have been added in the past to Maidstone but rarely used by those on bikes.
Cllr Shellina Prendergast (Con), also declined to vote. She said: “I’m a little perplexed by this scheme.
“I’m in support of sustainable transport and cycling routes but this one has really got me.
“I think this needs a lot more work doing to it before we take it any further.”
Kent County Council (KCC) say the proposed routes will include separate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists to avoid any danger of collisions.
Cllr Brian Clark (Lib Dem) raised his fears over a crossing at the junction of Willow Way and Mote Avenue due to the sharp corner. But KCC say an existing pelican crossing will be replaced with light signals, including instructions for bikes, which would “enhance” the safety at the junction.
Maidstone borough councillor Cllr David Burton (Con) said: “This is a lump of government money that is facilitiated by KCC and has been supported by Maidstone. Cyclists go down there already. This is actually a gross improvement to safety and I’m a little disappointed with my colleagues on this board.
“If you talk to the public at large, the support is overwhelming. The money is there and the scheme is well thought up.”