Ashford Road junction with Willington Street

This scheme will improve congestion and road safety at the A20 Ashford Road and Willington Street junction by redesigning the junction, smoothing traffic flow and reducing failure to stop at traffic lights.

The changes to this junction will include:

  • an upgrade to the traffic lights to include a pedestrian crossing
  • the creation of a new give way lane for turning left into Ashford Road from Willington Street, by removing the traffic signal control
  • the creation of a new lane for turning into Willington Street for vehicles travelling east on Ashford Road. The lane will also widen further back from the junction.
  • a rebuild of the current ragstone boundary wall of Mote Park so it is 4 metres closer to the park.

Changes to this junction were consulted on as part of the Keep Maidstone Moving schemes, designed to reduce congestion, travel times and pollution in Maidstone.

Changes to this junction were consulted on as part of the Keep Maidstone Moving schemes, designed to reduce congestion, travel times and pollution in Maidstone.

Scheme costs

This scheme is a £1.146 million project to be delivered following Phase 2 of the Keep Maidstone Moving schemes. 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.

Willington Street in Maidstone gets significantly congested, especially at peak times. New homes and jobs will increase congestion and could encourage drivers to use unsuitable minor roads and indirect routes.

These improvements will improve road safety, traffic flow and journey times across the junction.

Scheme objectives

The key objectives for this scheme are to:

  • improve the efficiency of the junction thereby reducing congestion
  • improve journey times and the reliability of journey times
  • improve road safety
  • increase capacity on the network to better accommodate further development
  • improve air quality.

Formal decision

The decision by the SELEP Accountability Board to grant Local Growth Funding for the Maidstone Integrated Transport Package (MITP) was made on 12 April 2019.

This improvement will provide additional capacity on the Eastbound A20 approach to the junction by extending the length of the two-lane approach and also providing wider lanes that will allow eastbound vehicles to pass the queuing right turning traffic more easily.

Currently, eastbound traffic is frequently blocked by larger vehicles turning right and this only adds to the length of the eastbound queue to the junction. These improvements will allow more traffic to move through the junction at each change of the signals.

To accommodate the additional widening of the eastbound carriageway, it will be necessary to widen the westbound carriageway into the existing verge and toward the Mote Park boundary wall, which will require the wall to be repositioned.

On the verge, there are currently utilities and highway street furniture including road signs, lamp columns and a VMS sign which all need to be relocated to avoid being struck and to allow access for maintenance. Utilities need to be retained within the verge to minimise the impact of any future maintenance works.

A short additional lane is also being provided on the westbound approach to the junction to provide additional capacity on this approach.

The boundary wall of Mote Park forms part of the listed curtilage to Mote House and consequently requires a listed building consent submission to Maidstone Borough Council. This was approved on 21 April 2022 at the Planning Committee.

Whilst the funding is currently secured for this part of the MITP project, there is a risk that any further delays in achieving listed building consent and agreement to reposition the wall may result in SELEP withdrawing the funding and relocating this elsewhere. This consent is a key milestone for SELEP, to provide comfort that the scheme can be delivered.

Due to other projects being carried out on the network in the near vicinity, the construction will be planned alongside the other network pressures and will need to be programmed after the completion of the A249 Bearsted Road project. The earliest this could be delivered would be after spring 2024, as it will need to be coordinated with the Wheatsheaf improvement scheme.

Funded by

The government Growth Deal provides money to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, funding projects which drive Kent’s economic and business growth.