Sunday, 6 April 2014

How can you get across the River Medway in Maidstone without a car?

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 county town.


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