In September last year, we wrote to KCC about their plans for the A251/A2 (Watling St) junction. Work has now begun on the junction. A 420m section of the A251 is to be shut for 11 weeks (April 5 to June 18) while traffic lights are installed. The closed section of the A251 will extend from the fire station and the new roundabout for Aldi and Premier Inn. The closure is to allow for earthworks and utility diversions.
This is KCC’s proposal put to Swale’s Joint Transportation Board on 1st March in response to the various representations made last year, KCC has added pedestrian crossings to two more of the arms of the junction:
Nationally attitudes are, slowly changing,
'Well designed infrastructure gives places a sense of identity . . . projects shouldn't just mitigate, but should have a relationship with their surroundings and enhance them . . . we need to think harder about how our infrastructure improves air quality, health, and wellbeing' Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Design Group, New Civil Engineer, March 2021 p16.
Phil Jones has pointed out
“KCC’s overriding concern appears to be to attempt to reduce short-term congestion by increasing motor vehicle capacity, with little thought given to the quality of the place or enabling active travel. This is not consistent with national policies and will simply serve to further embed car dependency and encourage more car travel.”
“The failure of KCC to include even the most basic facilities for cycling is at odds with ... the Prime Minister’s plan for cycling and walking. Active Travel England will soon be established and will hold local highway and planning authorities to account. Government has stated that a failure to meet the principles set out in (the plan) will result in financial penalties being imposed on local authorities.”
After further representations made at the Swale Joint Transportation Board by Tim Stonor
“KCC agreed to look at putting direct, rather than staggered pedestrian crossIng. They also agreed to look at putting in cycle “advanced stop lines” which give cyclists a bit of space ahead of the vehicles at traffic lights.”
As Tim Stonor, architect, urban planner and trustee of the Faversham Society, comments
“Both important concessions. Not nearly good enough, but better.”