Pub could go to make room for roundabout at busy junction
The Wheatsheaf pub could be demolished to make way for a roundabout at the junction of the Sutton Road with Loose Road to the south of Maidstone.
The proposal, which would also include the closure of Cranborne Avenue has been drawn up by consultants GEN2 as one of five junction improvements to ease congestion around Maidstone.
But nothing is likely to happen any time soon, as KCC and Maidstone Borough Council are currently locked in a High Court row, after KCC decided to use the available funding instead to finance a feasibility study for the Leeds/Langley Bypass.
Meanwhile the North Loose Residents Association has carried out a survey to determine which is busier: Sutton Road or Loose Road.
They positioned 28 volunteers at the Wheatsheaf to count traffic flows over 13-hours from 6am to 7pm.
The result showed Loose Road carried 6% more traffic, with 17,762 vehicle movements on Loose Road and 16,754 on Sutton Road – a difference of 1,008.
Alan Moore, who organised the survey, said: “This might not seem like a big difference, but it is the equivalent of a nose-to-tail line of traffic two and a half miles long.”
Mr Moore said that carrying out the survey had brought home to the volunteers just how bad the pollution levels were. He said: “I counted for two hours and by the end of it I was pleased to leave, the fumes were very unpleasant.”
Although, improvement is urgently needed, Mr Moore was not holding his breath. He said: “I have a photograph from 100 years ago, when there were just a few horse-and-carts. The road layout then was exactly the same as today.” People in Barming continue to fight plans to build homes on green space.
Taylor Wimpey has purchased land to build on pea fields next to Broomshaw Road.
No planning permission has been granted but there are concerns the impact a potential 108 new homes could have on nearby Hermitage Lane.
Another 80 homes are proposed on a field between Broomshaw Road and Oakapple Lane.
Barming resident Helen Rutter said: “It’s more homes next to road that isn’t coping.”
Transport campaigner James Willis said the development must be paused or scrapped on highways grounds and the impact on roads and pollution needs to be measured.