We are Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum, a charity (Registered Charity Number 1172691) representing the cycling community in Maidstone. Our aim is to improve the cycling conditions in Maidstone and encourage people to take up cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle, and also as a practical and environmentally friendly alternative to cars for short journeys to shops, schools, etc....
It can be done - go to our Exemplars page to see what Walthamstow and Utrecht have achieved.
April Newsletter - available to download at the bottom of this page
Kent County Council has welcomed news that government is investing £70 million to help restart local economies and make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
KCC has been allocated just over £8 million by the Department for Transport (DfT) to invest in walking and cycling and to embed new behaviours whilst promoting the positive effects of safe and sustainable active travel.
The first round of funding, however, will be £1.6 million with the remainder subject to agreement if spent within eight weeks.
In addition to this, plans are being worked on to introduce further 20mph zones, including trials in Faversham and Tonbridge.
Since lockdown on March 23, Kent Highways has recorded a 300% increase in the number of people cycling and a recent survey of people across the county found 63% supported the idea of more cycle lanes.
Michael Payne meeting with Chris Heaton-Harris, the Cycling Minister, earlier this year.
Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “I very much welcome this funding and we can now get started on planning some short, medium, and longer-term schemes for those walking and cycling.
“I hope this will encourage more people to walk and cycle as the health benefits speak for themselves. This investment will allow our active travel options to be enhanced and improved so that these journeys remain safe and sustainable.
“We will be looking into the possibility of reallocating road space for walking and cycling, encouraging people to take part in active travel, for instance going to school, and reducing speed limits where appropriate.
“I very much hope that the number of people cycling and walking increases as there are a wealth of benefits to our communities if people are more active – lower traffic levels, reduced congestion, less road noise and improved air quality.
“But to make these changes long lasting we need to work together, and this can only be achieved with local support.”
Mr Payne added: “I want to develop ideas and improvements that not only give some quick wins, but to also learn and experiment so that we can lock-in the longer-term benefits from a programme of improvements across the county.
“I appreciate there will be lots of groups that will want to be involved. But right now we are assessing the opportunities this funding brings so that we can invest in the right places at the right time, whilst also responding to the key worker and urgent needs that we face in the current pandemic to quickly provide safe walking and cycling infrastructure.
“Welcome though this funding is we all need to realise that it will not be possible to accommodate every idea immediately. That is why some of the schemes that are chosen are likely to be experimental in the first instance.”
KCC anticipates more people will be travelling to work and to school by bike or on foot.
Working with colleagues in the local districts and boroughs, KCC is arranging to implement temporary signs that reinforce the social distancing message.
As part of the DfT Access Fund programme, KCC has worked alongside Cycle Community CIC based in Ashford supplying 50 refurbished bikes to key NHS staff.
The bikes have been supplied with safety equipment including helmets, locks, lights and hi-vis vests.
KCC will be looking to:
The top risks that COVID is putting on road safety are:
When passing a person cycling, give plenty of room – a minimum of 1.5m – and don’t pass too quickly. It can be frightening to a rider if they are passed at high speed.
Fewer people have been on our roads since lockdown began and traffic levels have been at about 60% of what they normally would be. However, with government encouraging schools to go back, traffic levels will increase.
What’s more, children will now be walking or cycling to school alongside other parents driving their children, and general traffic will be thrown into the mix – drivers need to slow down, be patient and stay alert to other road users.
Some drivers will be re-adjusting to driving, having not driven for a long time, or the skills involved may be rusty when it comes to pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers on our roads.
We want everyone to share our roads safely because one mistake or a moment’s inattention can have tragic consequences, and human error is a factor in 95% of crashes.
Those who need to travel to work are being urged to consider more active ways to travel like walking and cycling. Please let us know how you have used cycling during Lockdown.
Kent County Council Consultations
Various Roads in the Borough of Maidstone - Intent to implement 20mph Public Health Scheme
MCCF has been invited to participate in the Various Roads in the Borough of Maidstone - Intent to implement 20mph Public Health Scheme consultation.
The effect of the proposed Order will be to implement 20mph Public Health Scheme in the following lengths of road, in the Borough of Maidstone:
In attrition, the various restrictions are to:-
This Kent County Council consultation is open to all to respond to on reducing the speed limit to 20mph. on Various Roads.
Please visit https://kccconsultations.inconsult.uk/consult.ti/Buckland_Hill_Speed_Limit/consultationHome to find out more and participate.
Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum does not take a position on whether a scheme like this should go ahead but aims to ensure any plans do give sufficient regard to cycling, walking and accessibility issues.
MBC has now reviewed the combination of outline and full planning applications three times and has rejected the development on each occasion. There are a number of factors involved but probably the most significant one is the traffic generated on rural and residential roads from an additional 421 dwellings.
MCCF's contribution has been to highlight the strategic position of the site sitting as it does between major residential, commercial and leisure areas. The fact that transport links of all types are poor and difficult to improve with restraints on road infrastructure and lack of nearby rail links. This leads to the view that the site should not just accommodate Active Travel but needs to enhance provision in the whole area through three relatively simple actions:
The need for action on Active Travel infrastructure has been accepted at the planning committees and actioned for further work so MCCF will be supporting this as the process moves on to the public enquiry which is likely to be scheduled in the autumn.
See our responses to the applications on our Consultation page.
Kent County Council (KCC) is consulted on six highway improvement schemes, which aim to reduce congestion, travel times and pollution across Maidstone. These are:
• A20 Coldharbour Roundabout • A229 Loose Road Corridor: Armstrong Road junction with Park Way (including Sheal’s Crescent) • A229 Loose Road Corridor: The Wheatsheaf • A229 Loose Road Corridor: Cripple Street junction with Boughton Lane • A20 Ashford Road junction with Willington Street • A274 Sutton Road junction with Willington Street
For more information and to take part in consultations, please visit the KCC website www.kent.gov.uk/keepmaidstonemoving and participate in this consultation.
This consultation closed on 11 March.
A report on the outcomes is going to the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board on the 8th July. See reports pack for details.
The 5 Year Plan is the flagship strategy for Kent County Council. It unites the Council with clear outcomes and objectives. It has been brought together by working with and listening to our residents, young people, local businesses, the voluntary and community sector and staff. We’ve reflected what we heard during our engagement process in this draft consultation document. KCC are keen to hear from you as we further develop this draft during formal consultation.
The Consultation ran from 6th January to 17th February 2020.
Download our response below.
For more information please visit the KCC website www.kent.gov.uk/5yearplan
Due to landslip and tree issues parts of the towpath are currently closed. See ExploreKent for full details
The River Medway Towpath runs between Aylesford and Barming (total length: 10.5km). Unfortunately, some sections of the River Medway Towpath need urgent improvements and we, at Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum, have been working hard to alert the local authorities about our concerns with some sections.
New Roads Should Prioritise People on Bikes and on Foot over Cars
The Health Watchdog's statement as reported in Cyclist Magazine ( www.cyclist.co.uk ) :
Made to Move Report to MPs
Chris Boardman's presentation to MPs as reported by British Cycling ( www.britishcycling.org.uk ) :
Explore Kent Cycle Maps
Passengers using Maidstone East railway station will soon benefit from improved cycle parking facilities, as part of a £330,000 project to encourage rail commuters to incorporate cycling into their journey.
Following a successful bid for Government funding by Southeastern and Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone East station has been awarded £150,000 match funding from the Department for Transport for a new Cycle Hub at Maidstone East railway station. The funding supplements a similar amount already secured for the station by Maidstone Council.
A new Cycle Rail hub for Maidstone
The new hub will mean more spaces for cyclists using the railway for commuting or days out, supporting sustainable, environmentally-friendly travel to the station.
The new hub will also include new facilities for cyclists, including repair stands and will be protected with CCTV and new lighting, for extra security.
The funding will also see the cycle route to Mote Hill improved.
David Wornham, Passenger Services Director for Southeastern, said:
“The opportunity to use a sustainable transport mode to get to and from the station is very important to our passengers, who not only want to be reassured tat their bike has a space available, but that it will be safe and secure while they undertake their journeys, and that other facilities will be on hand to maintain and repair their bike when they need it.
“I’m delighted for both our passengers and our partners at Maidstone Borough Council that Southeastern’s bid for these funds from the Government has been successful. In addition, improvements to the forecourt and the environment surrounding the station being delivered by Kent County Council will make a huge difference to everyone that uses the station.”
And more improvements on the way for Maidstone East
Additional improvements are also planned for Maidstone East Railway Station to enhance the travelling experience for passengers. Earlier this year Southeastern and Network Rail conducted a public engagement exercise which showed widespread support for improvements to the facilities on Platforms 2 and 3, including toilets and a ticket vending machine.
Following the feedback, it was resolved to make these changes to improve the travelling experience for passengers. The new facilities will be operational from summer 2019.
MCCF have made a proposal to meet the current challenges of the Gyratory. See our Campaigns page for details.
SUSTRANS were commissioned by Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council to assess the current provision for walking and cycling in the town centre and along main Walking/Cycling corridors – Sutton Road and Hermitage Lane. The scope also included proposals for linking the corridors i.e. High Street - Maidstone West, East and Barracks – Medway Towpath. The report went to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee on Tuesday 12th June - Agenda Item 17. Download the Assessment below.
Maidstone Borough Council are now commissioning a further assessment adding to the scope of the original.
To find out more click here Campaigns or on the tab at the top of this page.
More Great Information
SUSTRANS - Cycling
Visits their website for a range of information on cycling.
Look at Exemplars section for examples of great cycling provision. including:
Nijmegen: The City that tamed cars so that people can walk and bike where they please.
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