Decision announced on future of Cranborne Avenue junction

Kent County Council (KCC) has today confirmed the permanent closure of a junction after a trial showed improvements to journey times, congestion and traffic queues on two key strategic routes in Maidstone, the A229 and A274.

Cranborne Avenue has been closed at the junction with the A229 in Maidstone since an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order came into effect on 22nd March 2022.

A six-month consultation ended on 23rd September 2022 and the temporary order allowing the council to close the road for 18 months expires this Sunday (24th September).

Ahead of the deadline KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Neil Baker, decided the evidence from traffic surveys proved benefits expected from the closure had been realised for the Wheatsheaf junction.

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Neil Baker, said: “Making the closure of Cranborne Avenue at the junction of the A229 permanent will mean the benefits realised during the trial continue, allowing us to unlock additional capacity on our network.

“This has reduced traffic queues and improved journey times for the travelling public that make around 35,000 trips every day, through the Wheatsheaf junction.

“Following the examination of Maidstone’s Local Plan, which found traffic problems could be a barrier to future economic growth, further improvement to create additional capacity was required at this junction.”

Officers will monitor the area closely under this initial phase to ensure the benefits of the additional capacity unlocked by this closure continue to be realised.

The next phase of the project will now be finalised to achieve the optimum design for the Wheatsheaf junction in order to consolidate the benefits derived from the closure. An update will be provided before any changes are implemented.