Current Consultations

A249 – Bearsted Road Improvement Scheme

 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.

KCC Proposal

Storey Secondary School – New Cut – Maidstone

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.

Planning application

  

  

  

Consultations

Planning Application: 19/501600/OUT - Outline application for up to 440 residential dwellings

 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.  

Queens Avenue TRO Consultation

MCCF responded to the original consultation, as below, however the  

Queens Avenue "No Entry" order is being confirmed without an exemption for cyclists.  

https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/OneWay_QueensAvenue/consultationHome


The following was the official response of the Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum (MCCF) to the one-way traffic order on Queens Avenue. 


The key points of our response were:

• MCCF strongly opposes this scheme in its current form

• MCCF would strongly support this scheme if cycles were exempted from the proposed restriction

The MCCF strongly supports the concept of reducing through traffic heading northbound on Queens Avenue. The reduction in through traffic supports the aims of the cycle forum. We would however support further steps to improve the environment for cycling and walking, such as a lower speed limit, and measures to reduce through traffic in a southbound direction.


However, the proposed TRO clearly states that the one-way restriction will apply for bicycles too. Therefore, MCCF strongly objects to the TRO in its current form. There is absolutely no reason why the one-way restriction should apply to bicycles. Because of this, MCCF strongly opposes the one-way restriction in its current form. For people traveling from Queens Road to Vicary way, this represents an extra 0.3 miles, 2 minutes, an extra 6 metres of elevation gain, and having to cycle on an incredibly hostile main road. This is completely unacceptable.


Cycle contraflow


Cycle contraflows have been successfully implemented by many local authorities in the United Kingdom, and are easily implemented under existing regulations from the TSRGD. All that is required is an “except cycles” plate to be added to the no entry sign, and a cycle contraflow sign in place of a standard one way sign. If this was implemented on Queens Avenue, MCCF would strongly support the traffic order.


Conclusion

MCCF strongly oppose the TRO in its current form. However, we would strongly support the TRO if an exemption for cycles was provided.

Mote Park towards Town Centre Consultation

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.

Consultation link  

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.


WSP Park and Ride Alternative Survey

 

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.

Consultation link

Kent County Council Consultations A20 Harrietsham Highway Improvements Scheme

A20 Harrietsham Highway Improvements Scheme consultation 

open from 12 Feb 2018 at 09:00 to 18 Mar 2018 at 23:59.

 

Kent County Council (KCC) is proposing highway improvements on the A20, Harrietsham to create a more pedestrian friendly environment and improve links between the new housing development sites, the existing housing and village centre.
 

This consultation closed on 18th March.
 

Visit www.kent.gov.uk/consultations to find out more. KCC Consultation document available for download - see below.
 

MCCF Response submitted on 18 March:


While Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum welcomes a small improvement to cycling in Harrietsham, legalised pavement cycling provides an incredibly low level of service to people cycling. Legalised pavement cycling causes conflict between people walking and cycling, and results in a loss of priority at side roads. Kent County Council should be building proper cycle facilities, such as those currently being built by local authorities such as Waltham Forest, Enfield, and Transport for London, if it seeks to properly cater for people cycling and walking.


MCCF also has concerns that the new 30mph speed limit will not be adhered to, because very little is being done to change the actual design speed of the road. Wide hatching and flared junctions do not send the correct messages that this is a 30mph road. The carriageway should be narrowed, and continuous footway treatment (there are many examples in Waltham Forest of this treatement) provided on all sideroads to naturally reduce the speed limit of motor vehicles, rather than just relying on a legal limit.


A single stage crossing should be created between West Street and East Street. Staggered crossings cause unnecessary delays for people walking. Toucan crossings also cause conflict between people walking and cycling. Button placement on toucan crossings also causes problems for people using cargo bikes and disabled people. KCC should ensure that near side signals that have started to replace traditional pedestrian signals at the opposite side of the crossing are NOT used, because they are much less convenient for people cycling to use. 

DoT Call for 'Evidence on Cycling and Walking Safety'

 

On the 9th March the Department of Transport published a Call for Evidence on Cycling and Walking Safety, in support of the ambition in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey.

The announcement by Jesse Norman, Cycling and Road Safety Minister, follows his earlier announcement of a review of cycle safety in September 2017.  

Alongside the Call for Evidence the DoT have published the Independent Legal Expert report into the case for a change in law equivalent to causing death or serious injury by dangerous or careless driving, for cycling.  The government’s response to this report will be published shortly and, at this stage, they are not seeking comments on the report.

The announcement is available on the gov.uk website at:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-publishes-call-for-evidence-on-cycle-safety

Call for Evidence consultation documents and online questionnaire are available at:https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/cycling-and-walking-investment-strategy-cwis-safety-review

We have been asked to support the Call for Evidence and let our members and networks know about the announcement, as well as making our own response.  The Call for Evidence consultation closes on 1 June.

 
Survey form downloable - at bottom of page. 

M2 Junction 5 Consultation Response

The Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum (MCCF) have responded to Highways England 's consultation on the M2 Junction 5 improvements scheme. The key points of our response are: 


* The current junction and surrounding roads are a massive barrier to non-motorised users (NMUs) who wish to travel in the area.


* The improvements scheme must consider NMUs in the final design.


* Highways England must use its own guidance found in Interim Advice Note 195/16 (Cycle Traffic and the Strategic Road Network) to create suitable facilities for NMUs.


* Further improvements for NMUs, outside of the current scope of this consultation, should be considered in the surrounding area.


* MCCF would like assist Highways England in developing suitable facilities for NMUs as part of this scheme.


For our full response download it - click on the link at the bottom of the page.


 The A249 Trunk Road (Stockbury Roundabout Improvements) Order 2019 


Objections have been raised by MCCF on the inadequate provision for cyclists:


The new proposal titled Option 4H1 does not seem to have addressed those issues raised.

The difference between the current proposal and that commented on previously appears to be that motorised traffic is provided with grade separated underpasses of the A249.

The principal objection is that there is no safe route provided for cyclists and walkers to traverse across the A249 in safety. The opportunity should be taken to provide a safe crossing for cyclists and walkers within one or both of the underpass routes. As a minimum this should have separate provision for both cyclists and walkers protected from traffic in the underpass.

Popular cycling and walking routes between the villages of Stockbury and Hartlip heading to or from Oad Street or Borden must cross the A249. This proposal should take into account the needs of other users of the roads in this area.

Public consultation is open on this proposal until midnight on 25th July 2019 and you can lodge a formal objection on these grounds.

It should be noted that it is a stated Aim of this project "to help cyclists and pedestrians: working with the local authorities we will aim to improve facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised users"