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Estate residents want bus lane linking Great Easthall to Oak Road, Murston, open for all traffic

Residents on an estate with one road in and out have asked that a bus lane is opened up for use by all vehicles.

People living at Great Easthall have to use Swale Way to access their homes.

The bus lane at the junction of Oak Road, Murston
The bus lane at the junction of Oak Road, Murston

However, a bus-only lane off Oak Road, Murston, often used illegally as a short-cut by drivers, also links to the housing.

Buses recently stopped using the route due to what bus firm Arriva described as “a spate of anti-social behaviour”, including one of its drivers being assaulted.

The 348 to Mulberry Way was cut last month and the 349 now goes only as far as Broom Road.

It is understood County Cllr Mike Whiting (Con) was asked by residents about making the route open to all.

But the idea has not gone down well. Ken Bodkin, of Blythe Close, which is near the bus lane, said it would put residents at risk.

Ken Bodkin
Ken Bodkin

The 70-year-old said: “Over my dead body. Oak Road can’t take anymore traffic. The road’s in a terrible condition.

“The bus lane needs blocking off until they stop the illegal use of it. The lives of the residents of Murston are being put at risk.”

The suggestion to open it up to all is due to be discussed at the Swale Joint Transportation Board meeting at Swale House on Monday.

A report prepared by Kent County Council’s director of highways, Simon Jones, said work would need to be done to make the route suitable for all traffic, such as widening the road so it could be two-way.

But he warned it would undermine the use of public transport and could result in traffic that would be “to the detriment of highway capacity, highway safety and residential amenity”.

And Arriva says its bus service could return. A spokesman said: “We would like to reinstate the service in the area in the future but will need the full support of local authorities to do this.”

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