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20 vehicles a minute using Sutton Road in Maidstone despite lockdown

When Kevin Doherty moved into his new house last February, the first thing he became aware of was the volume of traffic outside.

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Kevin Doherty recording traffic numbers
Kevin Doherty recording traffic numbers

He purchased a property on the Sutton Road in Maidstone, between Morrisons and the Aldi store.

"It's tremendously busy," he said. "And many vehicles far exceed the 30mph limit."

He added: "I used to live on the London Road, which was bad enough, but this..."

So when the country was put into Covid lockdown for the third time on January 4, Mr Doherty tried to look on the bright side, thinking at least there would be a reduction in traffic.

Not so.

Heavy traffic on the Sutton Road, A274, in Maidstone
Heavy traffic on the Sutton Road, A274, in Maidstone

He said: "I don't think there's been any change. There are still queues each way every morning, and the traffic hurtles past all day long."

He has counted the number of vehicles passing and says for most of the day it averages 20 per minute.

He said: "A lot of the traffic is private cars, not commercial vehicles, so I think people are just not taking any notice of the lockdown."

The issue is worrying for Mr Doherty, 71, and his partner, Karen Brett, 63, on a personal level.

Both contracted Covid-19 last November. Mrs Brett was particularly seriously affected. She had to spend a week in Maidstone Hospital. Mr Doherty said: "She was so unwell. She just couldn't breathe."

Both have since recovered, but are keen not to contract the virus again.

Lockdown? What lockdown? Traffic on the Sutton Road, A274
Lockdown? What lockdown? Traffic on the Sutton Road, A274

Mr Doherty said: "People really must take notice of the restrictions, for all our sakes!"

"And," he added, "Once we are back to normal, something still needs to be done about the traffic on the Sutton Road."

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