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Planning and Traffic Update for Bearsted

Bearsted Parish Council is working hard to tackle a number of issues, which are having or could have a negative impact on the parish. Behind the scenes, councillors have been putting in a great deal of time and effort in trying to preserve the parish as a pleasant place to live.

The recently formulated Highways Improvement Plan identifies the need for pedestrian crossings along Ware Street, where discontinuous pavements force pedestrians to frequently cross the road. The feasibility of these is currently being discussed with KCC. It also highlights the need for traffic calming measures along Ware Street, Roseacre Lane and Yeoman Lane, where speeding traffic is causing a danger to pedestrians and other road users. Traffic monitoring and speed surveys have recently been conducted on both Roseacre and Yeoman Lane, a necessary prerequisite to gain KCC’s commitment to introducing measures. The plan, amongst other things, also calls for measures to restrict dangerous parking on corners around the parish.

A consultation has been conducted with the residents of a section of Ware Street to find a suitable solution for the parked cars, which are parked sometimes dangerously along this section. The results of the consultation are currently being analysed to find a workable solution.

It has been identified that a great deal of traffic is using Otham Lane, Spot Lane, Roseacre Lane, Yeoman Lane and Ware Street as cut-throughs to the M20 junction 7, in order to circumnavigate long traffic build ups on the A274 Sutton Road, Willington Street, A20 Ashford Road and New Cut Road. Earlier this year, Bearsted Parish council joined with Boxley Parish council to try and find mitigating measures and possible solutions to these issues, which are being put to KCC/MBC.

Much of the increased traffic is due to extensive development along the A274 Sutton Road corridor. In recognition of this, Bearsted Parish Council planning committee is also keeping a close eye on future developments outside of the parish but which may have a traffic impact on our roads. The development of the Popes Field schools in Boxley parish, was vehemently objected to by Bearsted Parish Council and recently letters of objection have also been put into MBC against further development at Bicknor Farm, Otham and the application for a further 440 houses at Church Road, Otham. Both of these developments would have a serious traffic impact on Spot Lane, and other ensuing rat runs.

The recent call for sites has also identified further development sites both within the parish and in neighbouring parishes, which Bearsted Parish council is investigating.

Finally, Bearsted Parish Council has provided its comments on the Local Plan Review to MBC regarding growth in the borough. Our overriding focus was that the cumulative effects of development plans on the road and social infrastructure must be considered and the necessary infrastructure put into place before more planning applications are agreed, to ensure growth is sustainable.