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.
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.
Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum are objecting to the development on the same grounds as Maidstone Borough Council because both the congestion and the safety issues highlighted by their objection are detrimental to Active Travel and cycling. MBC 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 commenced on November 23rd. See our Statement of Case for our s.6 Party to the Planning Appeal, Closing Statement and responses to the applications on our Files to Download page.
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 Bearsted 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 Bearsted 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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
KCC's Leader's response - Download on our files page
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 Download on our files page
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"
Kent County Council (KCC) consulted 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 closed on the 1st September.
Please click on the link below or copy this address into your browser: https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/a20junctionimprovements/consultationHome