Wheels are turn­ing on cy­cle lane scheme

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - NEWS -

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.”

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