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
In an election dominated by Brexit, the climate crisis and the NHS, cycling is not most people’s top priority. However, with transport now accounting for a higher share of overall emissions than any other sector, helping people drive less and cycle more is arguably crucial in tackling climate change.
Improving conditions for cycling could help our congested, polluted towns and cities, tackle the inactivity crisis, reduce the burden on the NHS and make streets and neighbourhoods safer and more pleasant.
The Walking and Cycling Alliance wants £17 per person per year to be spent on active travel, rising to £34 per person by 2025. Spending is currently £7 per person annually.
But some parties are recognising cycling’s potential and coming up with innovative and needed ideas. Others remain stuck in car land. Here is a quick guide to the key policies of the main parties. Read their full article
This year, for the second year, Kent County Council is taking part in the NHT Public Satisfaction Survey on highways and transport services. Whilst the main survey is being carried out by Ipsos MORI, who will be sending forms to a representative sample of households, KCC have also opted to take part in six web-based surveys on specific issues:
Walking and cycling
These surveys are publicly available online, and may be accessed via the KCC website using this link:
Report and presentations available on a dedicated page.
Read the response of Helen Grant MP:
From: GRANT, Helen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: 30 April 2019 12:16
To: MCCF Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum
Subject: RE: Travel Choices – Cycling – A Healthy Option - Summit - 16th April
Thank you for your recent emails regarding cycling. I did receive your original correspondence, but had not yet had the opportunity to respond to it. I regularly receive a high volume of correspondence each week from constituents and I aim to respond within three to four weeks, although I often have to prioritise the most urgent cases, where people risk losing their housing or income.
I appreciate your commitment to promoting cycling and I feel that for too long, cycling has been seen as a niche activity rather than a normal activity for all. If we can increase levels of walking and cycling, the benefits are substantial. For people, it means cheaper travel and better health. For businesses, it means increased productivity and increased footfall in shops. And for society as a whole it means lower congestion, better air quality, and vibrant, attractive places and communities.
The Government will directly invest £50 million to provide a further 1.3 million children with cycling proficiency training through the Bikeability scheme, £101 million to deliver the Cycle City Ambition scheme in full, £85 million for Highways England to make improvements to 200 sections of the road network in England for cyclists, and £80 million for local cycling and walking schemes through the Access Fund. This is on top of various devolved funding streams which local authorities have and are able to invest in walking and cycling.
Through this funding, the Government aims to deliver increased safety for both cyclists and also walkers across England, better mobility with higher quality cycling facilities and more towns and cities which have cycling and walking at their heart.
Reducing congestion is particularly important in Maidstone, and matters relating to planning and infrastructure are issues I regularly campaign on both at a local and national level. In spite of the adoption of Maidstone’s local plan, I will be continuing my campaign to ensure that any future development is accompanied by the appropriate infrastructure to support it. I will be particularly focused on working with both Maidstone Borough Council, as the planning authority, and Kent County Council, as the highways authority, to ensure that appropriate provision is made for any increase in traffic.
In a recent KM column, I wrote to Alison Broom and Martin Cox at Maidstone Borough Council to reaffirm my commitment to seeing these improvements. You can read this article here: https://www.helengrant.org/news/maidstones-air-quality . I am also on hand to support any further funding opportunities to see this project come to fruition.
I hope that this reassures you of my continued commitment to supporting cycling and improvements to infrastructure, and thank you once more for taking the time to get in touch about this issue. If you think there is something specific I can do to support your own efforts on this issue please do let me know.
Member of Parliament for Maidstone and The Weald
House of Commons | London | SW1A 0AA |
Active Travel Challenge: 1 May 2019 – 30 June 2019
This challenge runs for 8 weeks and it’s all about swapping motorised transport for two legs or two wheels. All you have to do is log as much active travel as you can from 1 May. Why? Because active travel is a great way to build in physical activity as part of your daily routine, which can contribute to improved health and help to prevent or manage a range of chronic diseases. Active travel is also good for the environment, helps reduce fuel costs, saves CO2 and reduces congestion.If you walk, run or cycle instead of using motorised transport, largely for functional reasons ie. travelling to work, to the local shops and/or to a leisure activity, it can be logged as active travel. Participants will be entered into a draw for some ‘Active At Work’ prizes and winners will be announced at the end of the challenge. Link: Active Travel Challenge
Please see separate page for details.
Prudential Ride London
Big Bike Revival?
Few things in life are better than a cycle ride, whether it’s to visit friends, a daily commute or a trip into the countryside. But we know it can be hard to get started. Around 42% of people in the UK own bikes but don’t ever use them.It might be because the bike has a flat tyre and you have no idea how to repair it. Or maybe it’s because you feel you’re lacking the skills or knowledge to ride safely. The Big Bike Revival is all about overcoming those little barriers and to help you feel more confident about cycling.
The programme is entering its fifth year with events across the country providing free cycle checks, servicing, cycle maintenance workshops, cycle training and accompanied rides.
Link: Big Bike Revival
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.
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
Kent County Council (KCC) is currently consulting on the A20 London Road Junction Improvements.
KCC would like to hear your views on our proposal to make a number of highway improvements on the A20, London Road between New Hythe Lane and Station Road. These proposed highway alterations will improve safety for cyclists and reduce congestion.
This consultation closes on the 1st September.
Please click on the link below or copy this address into your browser:
The A249 Trunk Road (Stockbury Roundabout Improvements) Order 2019
See Consultations page for details of the objections MCCF have raised.
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.
2019 HSBC UK | National Circuit Championships
will be hosted in Rochester, while a dedicated women’s circuit series will also be introduced to the calendar for the first time ever.
The historic Medway town will see both the men’s and women’s national champions crowned on Sunday, July 21, with the full race route to be confirmed in due course.
Why I... cycle to work
North east GP Mark Dornan tells Adrian O’Dowd how cycling to work helps him destress, keep fit, and be a better doctor.
Cycling to work has become an important part of Mark Dornan’s working and personal life, helping his health and wellbeing.
See article in BMJ
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.
Maidstone River Towpath - for Women
Starting from - Meet by the gold gates to County Hall, which is the big stone building opposite Maidstone East railway station. There is free 2 hour parking on residential roads in the nearby area, or you can pay to park at Sandling Road car park (£2.20 for 3 hours).
See full list by downloading list on our Downloads page. Maidstone rides see
Kent County Council consulted on proposals to link up and improve the existing cycle route from the Mote Park entrance at Mote Avenue to the junction of the A249 and King Street. The closing date was 7th October.
MCCF submitted its response, download it at the bottom of this page.
Go to 'Consultations' to download the report that went to the Joint Transportation Board on the 17th October.
This is phase 1 of the scheme. Phase 2 and 3, which do not have funding yet, will bring it to Maidstone East station. An extensive joint project has begun at Maidstone East station to improve pedestrian and cycle access.
Work commenced in February and is nearing completion. We look forward to the new facilities provided.
Medway Street Underpass
We are trying to persuade Maidstone Borough Council to resolve the flooding and safety issues with the Medway Street underpass which they have acknowledged they have funding for.
We have commented on this scheme. We are still awaiting a reply from KCC.
Although the scheme does include provision for cycling, this does not conform to the Maidstone Borough Council Walking and Cycling Strategy 2011 - 2013. The main objectives of that strategy are spelt out in section 5.2. One is to create new links and another is to create a safer environment for walking and cycling.
The scheme proposes the creation of a new shared footway / cycleway on the north side of Bearstead Road, but it is not clear from the proposal how one would safely access that cycleway from the existing cycleway RR19 on Hampton Road which ends on the south side of Bearsted Road. As a minimum, a safe crossing should be provided with a fully compliant cycleway to that crossing from RR19. Signage improvements will also be required.
With regard to the shared footway / cycleway on the north side of Bearstead Road. This is noted on the 6th page of the KCC presentation and illustrated in a visualisation on the 9th page.
Sustrans Design Guidance of April 2014 - Cycle Friendly Design. Table H8 of that document states a minimum width requirement of 3m for an urban unsegregated route. By following this guidance, users, both walking and cycling, would be presented with a safe environment in compliance with the MBC Strategy. Although no dimensions are given in the proposal, it is clear, from the necessity to create a new retaining wall, that the site is space constrained. However, it is important to provide users, both walkers and cyclists, with safe facilities that are compliant with current guidance. Especially in the context of this new facility adjacent to a busy urban road.
MCCF favours segregation of walking and cycling through clear markings, similar to the Ashford Road (Huntsman Lane to New Cut Road) Cycle Way, to avoid unnecessary confusion of users of the route.
Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum have made the following points relating to the application:
Having examined the Planning application, and in particular the Transport Assessment we consider that there are missed opportunities within the current proposals:
a) the master plan fails to show any provision for cycle routes within the site.
b) the Transport Assessment (part 1 of 3) clause 5.10 refers to the "spine road" of the development. This should clearly state that provision will be made for cyclists to safely use this road. There is an opportunity to create motorised traffic free corridors through the estate for walkers and cyclists.
c) the master plan fails to show any link to the cycle route that terminates on Church Road at the North East corner of the site.
d) the Transport Assessment (part 1 of 3) clause 5.8, which notes a proposal to improve the Northern Footpath to a shared cycle / walkway, should clearly state that this will link to the existing cycle route - which is in the immediate proximity at the NE corner.
e) the Parameter Plan 16206 / C03A identifies two pedestrian / cycle access points. The opportunity should be taken to ensure priority access to these and to upgrade the path to Foxden Drive, Downswood and the access to Woolley Road, Senacre to a cycle / footway. This would encourage access to/from the new development to Downswood and Senacre schools and shops reducing dependency on use of a car on Church Road.
f) the Transport Assessment (part 1 of 3) Appendix 3, appears to deliberately omit this cycle path, as only part of the Maidstone Walking and Cycling Map is shown.
g) the proposal should include provision for shared cycleway / footways both external to and within the site. This provision would connect with the MBC / KCC scheme to provide facilities that encourage cycling and a modal shift from other means of transport.
Note: shared cycleway / footways should comply with SUSTRANS guidance and be a minimum of 3 metres in width.
with formation of new access onto Bearsted Road, together with associated car parking and drop off area, pedestrian access, drainage, areas for formal and informal outdoor play and landscaping works. Popesfield Bearsted Road Weavering Kent
Having examined the Planning application, and in particular, the Transport Assessment dated Dec 2018 ref SM/JY/12539, MCCF consider that there is a missed opportunity within the current proposals.
The Transport Assessment makes a very low prediction of the numbers of journeys by cycle, to and from the new facilities, that might be made by pupils, parents and staff. Further, it does not acknowledge the Maidstone Borough Council Walking and Cycling Strategy 2011 -2013. Objectives of this strategy are to create new links, encourage modal shift and to create a safer environment for walking and cycling.
Given the improved shared cycleway / footway provision that will be made by the impending KCC A249 / Bearstead Road scheme, it would appear to be a simple and logical next step for that this proposal should include similar provision for shared cycleway / footways both external to and within the site. Ideally this provision would connect with the KCC scheme to provide facilities that would encourage cycling and a modal shift from other means of transport.
The shared cycleway / footways should comply with SUSTRANS guidance and be a minimum of 3 metres in width.
Our concerns were supported by resident objections and an amended application was submitted which has removed access fom Bearsted Road and now states “vehicular and pedestrian access via Kent Medical Campus, together with associated car parking and drop off area, pedestrian access”.
Download KCC's Leader's response below.
The cycling provision within the site is reasonably good. A wide path, joint use with walkers (this should be 3 metres wide to be in line with Sustrans Guidance). Good cycle storage facilities are being provided.
However, what is not clear is how the new shared cycle / walk way connects with existing cycle routes. There needs to be a clear plan to improve the connection between the entrance / exit point and the existing cycle routes.
This should have been included in the "Interim Travel Plan" as an objective in section 5.3.
In terms of the effect on existing cycling provision, the new roundabout should be provided with clearly marked cycle lane / space.
Our concerns have been raised with MBC councillors and the chair of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board.
We have received acknowledgement of our concerns and a site meeting with MBC and its Chair of Planning is awaited.
How do you travel to Maidstone town centre?
Maidstone Borough Council ran a 5 week consultation from the 17th September to the 21st October to help plan how they could offer alternative modes of transport that best suit the ever-changing needs of our communities.
As part of the Integrated Transport Strategy MBC want to offer and promote better, greener and more convenient ways to travel within the Borough.Whether you use public transport, Park and Ride, car share, walk or cycle MBC wanted to hear from you.
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