Short cut could be closed to tackle traffic problems

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19 Sep 2012
SHORT-TERM solutions to tackle traffic congestion at the Stockbury roundabout could include blocking off a well-used cut through.
A third 75-metre lane is to be added to the Maidstone-bound approach to the busy junction.
But shutting off the old A249, at the end of Maidstone Road, to all vehicles other than those used by the emergency services has also been proposed.

MP Gordon Henderson's constituency office manager John Burke said the measures, which he had discussed with the Highways Agency, could ease the predicted increase in congestion.

"A third lane will do part of the problem," he said. "The Highways Agency came up with numerous suggestions which would enable them to do work in the near future." Among them was the proposal to close off Maidstone Road at its junction with the roundabout.

"It might be worth considering," said Mr Burke. "Residents of Chestnut Street and Dana way have been complaining about rat-running. If they close off Maid-stone Road at Stockbury to all that traffic, that would cease being a rat run."

Residents have been calling for traffic calming to reduce the speed of traffic on the old A249.
Mother-of-two Tracy Gosling, of Chestnut Wood Lane, said she would back closing off Maidstone Road.

"People drive so fast so if there was less traffic coming down my road, I would love that.
"And if there was a third lane on the A249, that would help the flow and might alleviate some of the accidents."

Mr Burke said, in the long-term, Mr Henderson was keen on seeing a southern relief road built from the A2, somewhere between Sittingbourne and Teynham, to theM2.

Improvements to the Stockbury roundabout were flagged up by the Highways Agency when it blocked progress on a plan for 300 new homes just off the A249 at Bobbing.

It lifted that when it was agreed that any developer should contribute towards work to improve the junction.

by Stephen Waite
Sittingbourne News Extra