Pub could go to make room for round­about at busy junc­tion

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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