Armstrong Road, Park Way and Sheal's Crescent
Armstrong Road with Park Way
Improvements to this junction, which have now been completed, included:
- the addition of a separate lane for southbound traffic turning right into Armstrong Road
- the introduction of an additional lane in Park Lane to provide separate lanes for straight ahead and left turning traffic
- the relocation of pedestrian crossing on Loose Road to the southern side of the junction.
The proposed changes to amend the southbound junction priorities at Sheal’s Crescent are currently on hold whilst the improvements made to the A229/Armstrong Road junction are being monitored.
Changes to the Loose Road corridor were consulted on as part of the Keep Maidstone Moving schemes, designed to reduce congestion, travel times and pollution in Maidstone.
The total cost of the A229 Loose Road corridor scheme is £5.63 million (excluding the purchase of the Wheatsheaf public house). The corridor scheme will be let as a single construction contract with the LGF contribution being £3.7 million and the developer contributions being £1.93 million.
The improvements are funded through the Maidstone Integrated Transport Package (MITP). The MITP is a wider package of highway schemes expected to cost £13.9 million in total, of which £8.9 million has been secured from the Local Growth Fund obtained from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.
The remaining costs will be funded by Section 106 Developer Contributions from nearby housing developments.
The Loose Road corridor has been identified as a transport priority for Maidstone in KCC’s Local Transport Plan 4. Maidstone’s Local Plan also identified the need for improvements to the Wheatsheaf junction, Boughton Lane junction and Loose Road.
The traffic problems were recognised in the examination of the Local Plan, with the Inspector recommending further investigation of potential transport improvements.
The entire urban area of Maidstone is covered by an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). These improvements are crucial to reducing congestion, improving journey times and reducing air pollution.
The decision by the SELEP Accountability Board to grant Local Growth Funding (LGF) for the Maidstone Integrated Transport Package (MITP) was made on the 12 April 2019.
On 19 January 2021, our Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee endorsed the recommendations to give authority to take the next phase of the A229 Loose Road corridor improvements through to construction.
The scheme objectives are to:
- reduce travel time along A229 corridor
- improve the reliability of journey times
- stop the deterioration of and improve air quality
- enable planned housing and employment growth
- reduce the use of unsuitable routes as rat-runs (cut-throughs).
The improvement to Armstrong Road has been completed and the junction is currently being monitored. Adjustments to the operation of the traffic signals will be made as required to maximise their performance.
The proposed changes at Sheal’s Crescent are currently on hold whilst the improvements made to the A229/Armstrong Road junction are being monitored.
The government Growth Deal provides money to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, funding projects which drive Kent’s economic and business growth.