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A2/A251 junction improvement

The junction of A251 with Watling Street is a focal point in the townscape that serves many purposes, not just as a vehicular traffic link but also a gateway to a medieval Town, a crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists, a streetscape for local residents, and a passageway to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the south.

Now that walking and cycling are being enthusiastically promoted by the government, the Kent County Council, the Swale Borough Council and the Town Council, the A251 junction improvement scheme is an important opportunity to begin re-shaping the Town’s traffic circulation system to

reflect the changing nature of travel during the next decade.  The emerging Neighbourhood Plan aims to encourage active travel rather than car dependency to protect the Town’s medieval road network and built heritage during a period of intensive housing development.  The junction improvement scheme should recognize and actively reinforce the objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan together with the recently introduced Twenty’s Plenty initiative.

Watling Street itself will change character as the Town expands southwards, generating a new demand for short trips linking housing estates to the south with the Town centre to the north. 

Currently there are only two designated crossing places along the whole of the 2.5 kilometre length lying within the Town boundary, creating in our view an unacceptable degree of severance in a Town of this nature.  The junction improvement scheme should not merely focus on vehicular traffic, but form part of an integrated mobility plan that incorporates meaningful pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, supporting the changing role of Watling Street as a spine for local movement, a streetscape asset, an environmental corridor and an arena that encourages and rewards active travel.  

Junction design

The proposed junction is essentially aimed at vehicular traffic capacity, with few facilities for pedestrians and none for cyclists.  As illustrated in Figure 1 below, the design could be improved to include:

  • infrastructure for cycling (cycle lanes, advanced stop lines (ASLs) and/or an active travel ‘scramble’ phase for pedestrians and cycles,
  • pedestrian crossings on all arms, not just one, with wider footways,
  • a 20mph speed limit through the junction to protect pedestrians and cyclists,
  • a landscaping strategy to blend the design into the natural landscape of Faversham including a public art strategy to emphasise its importance as gateway into the town,
  • Junction design geometry that creates a sense of place, specifically stop lines and crossings at 90 degrees to each other
  • Sympathetic lighting and minimal poles, with lighting and signalling integrated,
  • no white hatching (unused space can be used instead for planting and/or public art.

As it stands, the Faversham Society cannot support the proposed design.  We believe there is potential for much more to be achieved at this site, and we warmly invite officers and representatives of the County Council to engage in discussions with our team about alternative possibilities that meet the aims and objectives of the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

Tim Stonor, Chris Wright on behalf of the Trustees 1 September 2020

Full text of the letter fro the Society to KCC

Looking Ahead - consultation closes on 8th June 2018 (11.59pm)

Swale Borough Council has published an early consultation document intended to inform the next Local Plan. Called "Looking Ahead", the document asks some key questions about the issues facing Swale to the year 2038. Please read more details below as to how to take part in this using our online portal.

We have also published a quick questionnaire in order to help us establish future priorities. This is also available to complete on the online portal. You do not need to register to take part in this.

If responding to our consultations, you will be asked to provide personal information at various points. Data Protection Legislation governs the way we collect and use the personal information you provide to us. You have specific legal rights in relation to that information and the Council has specific legal responsibilities. Please read carefully the notice that will be provided when you respond to the "Looking Ahead" consultation online. If you choose not to respond online, it can either be downloaded via the link below or as a ‘hard’ copy collected at Council offices or libraries. Where we have requested permission in the notice, please indicate by putting an ‘X’ in the relevant box. We will not be able to process your comments without the completed notice.

How do I take part in a consultation?

For most of our Local Plan consultations we use an online Consultation Portal, which has the following advantages:

  • View all documents/representations (including other consultee comments)
  • Search for comments on a particular topic or policy
  • Check your comments have been received and track the outcome
  • Be kept informed of updates
  • Update personal details.

You can read documents and consultation comments without the need to register. To provide any comments on a current consultation, you need to register before using our consultation portal.

You can also view our consultation documents at the Swale Borough Council Offices and libraries during these locations’ normal opening times:

  • Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, ME10 3HT
  • Sheppey Gateway and Library, 38 - 42, High Street, Sheerness, Kent, ME12 1NL
  • Alexander Centre, Preston Street, Faversham, ME13 8NY
  • Sittingbourne Library, Central Avenue, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 4AH
  • Queenborough Library, Railway Terrace, Queenborough, Kent, ME11 5AY
  • Minster Library, Worcester Close, Minster-On-Sea, Kent, ME12 3NP
  • Faversham Library, Newton Road, Faversham, ME13 8DY
  • Teynham Library, 131 London Road, Teynham, Kent, ME9 9QJ
  • Boughton Under Blean Library, Village Hall, Bull Lane, Boughton, Kent, ME13 9AH

 Written representations on documents should be made either:

  • By registering on our Consultation Portal
  • At Swale Borough Council’s offices where hard copies of the consultation material will be available
  • If you have difficulty with any of the above, please email planningpolicy@swale.gov.uk to obtain either an email version or hard copy

Paper versions of the form can be completed electronically (on screen) or completed by hand and returned:

  •  by email planningpolicy@swale.gov.uk, or
  •  by post to Planning Policy Manager, Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, ME10 3HT

If you have any questions please call us on 01795 417118.

All comments must be received by the date specified on the event detailed above.

Swale Borough Council engaged Peter Brett Associates to provide a starting point for developing a longer-term vision for how Swale might deal with choices about the type and location of housing growth.

None of the current represents an agreed political position or
policy in Swale. The views presented are those of the consultant
team only.

This study was commissioned for two reasons

  1. because the planning inspector for the current adopted plan had concerns that the current plan might not be able to support sufficient homes over the plan period. And required an early plan review.
  2. national government is consulting on a new method of calculating housing targets. Emerging numbers suggest that Swale needs to provide more housing permissions – equivalent to around 35% more every year, on top of the number already in the local plan. This is equivalent to 7,500 additional homes by 2037/38.

Choices for housing growth suggests scenarios which could accommodate 15,000 new houses in Swale. Faversham emerges as one of the likely options for very substantial house building.

It provides the context for the Future Faversham meeting on March 8th

 

Application No:16/508602/OUT

Revised Details Land at Preston Fields, Salters Lane, Faversham, Kent, ME13 8YD

The Faversham Society has some serious generic concerns about the impacts of development south of the A2 on connectivity, safety and congestion. We request that Swale Planners pay particular attention to the road, pedestrian and cycle linkages between developments south of the A2 and the town.

We are particularly concerned that the drawings include a roundabout at the A251/A2 junction an idea about which the Society has serious concerns.

The A2 is rapidly evolving into a residential street in the middle of a town, not a road along the outside of it. This needs to be recognised in individual site plans and in the next SBC development plan. Planning for the new developments south of the A2 needs to recognise the long-term plans for a 20 mph zone across the town

There is a danger that the Preston Fields development will establish precedents which others will follow. In our view that would be very undesirable.

We need to see pedestrian and cycle infrastructure as well as vehicle infrastructure. We want to see light-controlled pedestrian crossings particularly around the periods when school children are going to and from school

There needs to be a footpath along the south side of the A2 and a two-way cycle path on the north side of the A2

The Society wants KCC to develop a plan for the London Road and Canterbury Road that anticipates the full transport needs of Faversham - pedestrian and cycling transport - not just the needs of vehicles.

The Board has discussed in detail the latest version of Swale Borough Council's Development Plan. The Society has expressed it concern about the impact of the increased housing allocations on traffic and the historic fabric of Faversham.

The Society's submission is available here Faversham Society Evidence on Bearing Fruits

Registered Charity  Number 1135262 - Company No 07112241
The Faversham Society - Registered Address: 10-13 Preston Street, Faversham, Kent ME13 8NS
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