The first wave of schemes to encourage walking and cycling in the county has been announced by Kent County Council.
These schemes are being introduced through an Experimental Traffic Order meaning they will be installed by mid-September and a consultation will run afterwards to decide whether to make them permanent.
These trials form part of the government’s push for ‘active travel’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Kent County Council has provisionally been allocated just over £8 million by the Department for Transport to invest in walking and cycling.
The first round of funding that has been agreed by government is £1.6 million with the remainder dependent on this first round being spent within eight weeks.
A second wave of schemes will be dependent on the government’s decision to award further funding. A submission was made this week and further schemes will be announced once funding has been confirmed.
Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “Kent Highways has been successful in being granted 100% of the money that we were able to bid for in the first stage.
“This means the first wave of schemes can now be put in place. These schemes are ready to roll having been chosen by officers from among the many ideas that have been worked on.
“If these initial trials are successful, and we subsequently receive the second tranche of monies that the Government has said it is prepared to allocate to Kent, even more schemes will be rolled out.
“We have to be realistic in that the first round of schemes will not satisfy everyone who has made suggestions, but by concept testing, in a way that has not been previously affordable, we have the chance to encourage more cycling and walking and make our roads safer for all users.”
Other schemes within this first wave include:
Somerset Road, Ashford pop up cycle lanes
One lane in each direction will be turned into cycle lanes along New Street, Somerset Road and Mace Lane, segregated from traffic with posts.
Gaps will be left to allow access to businesses and homes. There will also be gaps at bus stops and road junctions.
Harbour Street and Albion Street, Broadstairs
Through traffic will be stopped from using Albion Street from the junction with Charlotte Street to the entrance to Albion Street car park. The scheme will create a new pedestrianised zone between 10am and 10pm. Access will be maintained for deliveries, pedestrians, cyclists and buses.
St Dunstan’s Street, Canterbury
The pavement will be widened on the eastern section of St Dunstan’s Street between Station Road West and North Lane using temporary bolt down posts.
The road will be closed at the western end of Kirby’s Lane, restricting access for vehicles.
Cycle parking areas and new seating and planters will be installed along Station Road West within some of the existing parking bays.
A256 Maison Dieu Road, Dover
Conversion of the nearside lane of Maison Dieu Road into a temporary cycle/bus lane, starting at the junction with Bridge Street, continuing south east to Castle Street, where cyclists will be directed onto a temporary shared cycle route.
This route will be segregated from traffic but still allow for vehicular access to homes and pedestrians crossing.
Phase 4B of the Cinque Ports cycle route scheme near the junction of St George’s Place, A259, Dymchurch Road, Hythe.
With improved signage, a shared use and widened 3m path and cycleway, and the relocation of existing sign posts and street furniture to ensure pedestrian and cyclist movement is relatively unobstructed.
It will start from the junction of Reachfields on the A259 Dymchurch Road to St George’s Place and connect to the existing cycle route from St George’s Place to the new housing development Martello Lakes at Nickoll’s Road, near Palmarsh to the west of Hythe.
Milton Road, Gravesend pop up cycle lanes
New cycle lanes will be constructed on Milton Road, and Berkley Road to Wellington Street.
Ordnance Road, Albion Terrace, and Norfolk Road will have a new cycle route with road closures to prevent through traffic. There will be wooden planters across the road at Russell Road and Prospect Grove.
Earl Street, Maidstone
The existing High Street restrictions will be extended to provide space for pedestrians with vehicle restrictions at the entrance to Earl Street. Seating and planters will be fitted towards the middle and end of the section of Earl Street between the junctions of Pudding Lane and Rose Yard.
There will be some amendments to the existing on-street parking arrangement.
King Street, Maidstone cycle scheme
A new cycle lane with light segregation. This will include relocating existing bus stops, disabled bays and the taxi rank. Towards the eastern end, traffic lights will allow cyclists to safely pass through.
A crossing for pedestrians and cyclists at the access to the bus station and car park near Maidstone House will also be fitted.
School Street – Drapers Mill Academy, Margate
St Peter’s Footpath, which serves the Drapers Mills Primary Academy, will be temporarily closed on weekday mornings between 8am and 9.30am and in the afternoon between 2pm and 3.30pm.
In addition to this, signs and road narrowing on College Road will warn drivers of the changes and help to slow down traffic passing the school.
A Park and Stride site will be established with access to an improved public right of way five minutes’ walk from the site.
Commercial Road, Paddock Wood
Access restrictions, except for buses, at the junction of Church Road/Station Road and immediately north of Clavadal Road.
A26 Pembury Road to Brook Street, Tonbridge
Posts will be installed along the edge of the existing cycle lane, and some of the pavement will be widened using bolt-down kerbs.
The left turn lane on the northbound approach to the Brook Street roundabout will be removed using barriers, and part of the carriageway will be repurposed as a cycle lane on the western side of the A26 between Waterloo Road and the Pembury Road roundabout, including removing parking bays between 38 Quarry Hill Road and Aycliffe Dentistry.
A26 light segregation between Culverden Park and Speldhurst Road, Tunbridge Wells
Posts will be installed along the edge of the existing cycle lane on the A26 St John’s Road between Culverden Park and Speldhurst Road.
Placed at regular intervals, there will be sufficient gaps to allow for access to properties, side roads and bus stops where required.
Reynolds Lane, Tunbridge Wells
Vehicles will be banned from using Reynolds Lane from the shared access to Oak Hatch – around 200 metres from the junction with Culverden Down, to the access into St Gregory’s Roman Catholic School.
Tunbridge Wells High Street
The High Street B2023 will become one-way heading north from Mount Sion to Vale Road.
The southbound carriageway will be used to install a temporarily widened pavement along the western side of the High Street.
Station Road, Westgate-On-Sea
A one-way system heading west between Roxburgh Road and St Mildred’s Road will be created, including changes to parking bays to encourage active travel whilst promoting social distancing in a shared space.
Planters, seating and bolt down lane delineators will be used to reallocate road space. Bus operation will be unaffected.
Countywide Public Rights of Way improvements:
Scheme 1 Drapers Mill, Margate
Public Footpath TM4 and Public Bridleway TM5 will see full vegetation clearance, route surfaces scraped and renewed to maximise width and improve safety.
Scheme 2 Crockenhill, Sevenoaks
Public Footpath SD72 is to be upgraded to a Permissive Bridleway which will give increased width. The surface will be cleared and repaired, and new signage installed to highlight the new access.
Scheme 3 East Malling
Public Footpath MR105 from Four Acres west to East Malling will have a full vegetation clearance, and surface scraped and renewed, maximising the existing route.
Scheme 4 Harbledown, Canterbury
Public Footpath CB516 will undergo a full vegetation clearance, with the surface scraped, repaired and renewed.
Scheme 5 Blean, Canterbury
Public Footpath CB30 will undergo full vegetation clearance, and the surface will be scraped back and renewed, maximising the width.
Scheme 6 Crab and Winkle Way Canterbury
Public Bridleway CB518 will have the surface scraped back and repaired with a full vegetation clearance. New signage is to be installed to provide detailed information regarding the distance of the route.
Scheme 7 Crab and Winkle Way Canterbury
Public byway CB20 and Public Footpath CB20B will both have a full vegetation clearance with surfaces scraped and repaired to improve quality of use for all.