Dear Councillor Brazier,
A few days ago I learned that the 'High Level' bridge from Buckland
Hill to Maidstone East was to be closed for two weeks. At the same
time I saw the barriers to the subways removed. Imagine my joy that
the high level bridge was likely to be made safe again and that the
subways had reopened, it would almost be worth the extra three
quarters of a mile walk along some of Maidstone's most dangerous
roads for a couple of weeks.
However, having attempted to use the three-way subway this afternoon
now that the barriers have come down, I got the to bottom of the
steps to find the subway remains flooded. I then walked to the
subway with the cycle path which had neither barrier or water in it
until I reached the High St side where I found the barriers in
place. As I had my bicycle with me, I had to climb over the barrier.
It is now three and a half months since the floods and still half
the subways are closed.
Also, I have complained about the length of time that pedestrians
get to cross at the pelican crossings by Maidstone West station.
Pedestrians have 6 seconds to cross before the man starts flashing
and cars start revving their engines. I am a fit forty something and
can only just cross in 6 seconds unless I run. Older users feel
intimidated by the lack of time they have to cross there. I have yet
to time the pelican crossing on Fairmeadow, but this is in an area
with some of the poorest air quality in the town. You are obviously
expecting pedestrians to subject themselves to the high levels of
pollution, especially particulate matter which is currently
responsible for around 1000 early deaths in Kent each year.
So for the next two weeks pedestrians and cyclists will have no easy
or safe access to move from one side of the town to another. I
suggest that you put the bridge repairs on hold until you have fixed
the subways and I suggest that you consider long and hard what can
be done to improve the conditions for pedestrians and cyclist in the