28 August 2016
Maidstone Greens, the only party opposed to the new gyratory, were out protesting during rush hour on Friday 26th August and will be repeating the protest regularly. The demonstration was met with strong support from drivers as they drove past the placards.
The Greens have stated that the £5m road changes may ease congestion in the short term but it will allow traffic to increase substantially over the longer term causing more congestion and air pollution.
Stuart Jeffery: “While the changes will probably reduce congestion for a few years, there will be an increase the flow of cars and it will encourage more people to travel by car. With an estimated 75 people dying in Maidstone each year because of pollution from vehicles, we need fewer cars not more.
“According to government figures estimated 75 people are dying prematurely each year in Maidstone due to air pollution from vehicles. Why this hasn't triggered a huge outcry and immediate action is beyond me, but urgent action is exactly what is needed.
“Sadly the opposite is happening. While the A229 to the south of Maidstone suffers with very heavy traffic, the announcement of the revamp of the gyratory means the amount of traffic will increase further.
“The council needs to invest in alternatives to travel by car. I want to see a full bus lane from the Wheatsheaf to the town centre to ensure that buses are the quickest way to get into town to encourage their use. We also need a proper cycling infrastructure, especially since KCC agreed to the removal of the only cycle lane across the river and we should have a blanket 20mph speed limit across residential areas.”
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