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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Bus lane on Sutton Road would split community with little time-saving, argues Brian Clark

22 January 2014
by Alan Smith

County Councillor Brian Clark

County Councillor Brian Clark

The county councillor for Maidstone South has condemned Maidstone Council’s “back-door attempt” to bring in a controversial bus lane along the Sutton Road.

Cllr Brian Clark (Lib Dem) attended the last meeting of Maidstone council’s planning committee to speak against three applications for housing developments along the Sutton Road that would have provided 880 homes in total.

Planning officers were linking all three applications to the creation of a bus lane by requiring the developers to part-finance the scheme.

But Cllr Clark said: “Paying an estimated capital cost of between £5.91m and £7.26m to save three minutes on journey time is just madness.

“This scheme would cost residents their attractive green verges and put noise, vibration and pollution one lane closer to their homes.

“The community would be split by a wider highway; pedestrian safety would be reduced and rat-running, to avoid the Wheatsheaf to Armstrong Road pinch point, made more likely.”

Cllr Clark said: “Last year almost 1,000 residents signed my petition against the bus lane. The whole scheme is utter folly”.

He suggested the money be used instead to create a park and ride site to the south of the town.

Back-bench borough councillors seemed to agree with him and deferred making a decision on all three applications pending a re-examination of the bus lane issue.

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