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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Willington Street, in Maidstone, will be closed for up to six weeks when Upper Street, in Leeds, re-opens

12 March 2014
by Anna Young

Work has closed Upper Street, in Leeds, since November

The saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. But, in Maidstone, when one road opens, another one shuts.

Upper Street in Leeds has been out of use since November, when a huge cavity was discovered just inches below the surface. Repair work, originally scheduled to finish by May, won’t end until June.

But when the road does finally re-open, Kent County Council plan to close Willington Street, which has been used as a diversion route for the last four months.

For the six weeks while repair work takes place between the Sutton Road and Derringwood Drive, traffic will be sent through the town centre.

At a meeting last night, Cllr Gary Cooke, from KCC, said about half of the £3million budget for repairing carriageways in south Maidstone would be spent in Leeds.

He said: “I understand people in Upper Street and Lower Street are enjoying a quiet life but for others it is a nightmare.”

Cllr Gary Cooke

Cllr Gary Cooke

Villagers were not convinced by Cllr Cooke’s hopes that HGVs would not return when the narrow route reopens.

Parish councillor Bob China said: “That’s really naive. Lorry drivers talk to each other and they have already seen the signs and the moment Willington Street closes, they’ll know Leeds is open.”

People suggested keeping both roads closed while work is completed but Cllr Cooke said the town’s roads couldn’t cope.

The closure of Upper Street has reignited calls for a Leeds-Langley by-pass and the parish council wants KCC to reduce the village weight limit from 17 tonnes to seven-a-half tonnes.

Leeds council plans to fund and train two special police constables to help enforce the restriction - if approved.
A recruitment day for the voluntary positions is hoped to take place in the village hall on Saturday, April 5.


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