A message from your County Councillor - January 2020

For those few villages whose local magazines/websites did not publish my previous report can I wish you a belated Happy and Successful 2020.

I was pleased that together with Swale Borough Councillor Alastair Gould we were able to obtain unanimous support from Swale Joint Transport Board for a 7.5 tonne weight limit in London Road Dunkirk, Boughton Street and Staplestreet Road. This was preceded by a meeting the previous week with Kent Highways Officers at Ashford, which was attended by Councillor Gould, myself and Dunkirk Parish Council Chairman Jeff Tutt. Agreement in principal was obtained for the weight limit and since then the necessary traffic order has been written. It should be published in early February to be followed by three weeks public consultation.

The decision of the new administration at Swale Borough Council to abandon the lorry Park scheme at Brenley Corner disappoints me. I was particularly dismayed that the Cabinet member stated that they would not revisit this question until improvements to M2 Junction 7 had been completed. Even if a scheme for these improvements were to be agreed in the next few weeks it would almost certainly take 10 years to plan and construct. The decision probably condemns us to another two decades of having our lay byes and slip roads clogs with HGV’s and the filth they leave behind.

A very full and interesting Kent Association of Local Councils Executive was held on the last Saturday in January. Among items debated were climate change, Parish Council websites and the Kent Highways trial (in South Maidstone unfortunately) to prevent heavy goods vehicles using unsuitable roads. Let us hope the trial is a success and Government approval can be obtained to roll it out County wide.

A reminder that my “You Decide” event to allocate my KCC Member Grant monies to local voluntary groups, highways schemes, etc will be held at Teynham Village Hall on Saturday the 15th February commencing at 9.30 am. All Swale East residents are entitled to attend and vote.

Andrew Bowles Email: Andrew.bowles@kent.gov.uk

Mobile: 07778 629879

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