District Priorities

Q7. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the District Priorities [for Ashford] for the Local Transport Plan? (Pages 41 to 42 in the LTP)

Travel in Ashford is currently dominated by the private car, but the area is largely flat which makes travel on foot or by bicycle easy and feasible. The M20 runs through the district and bisects the town, connecting the area with the Channel Ports to the south and Maidstone and London to the north. Generally, the M20 operates with spare capacity but when Operation Stack is called the town is heavily congested as all motorway traffic is diverted via Junction 9 through the town. Further, the capacity of Junction 10 is restricting development to the south of the Ashford urban area, as both strategic and local traffic place high demand on this junction. A preferred route for a new motorway Junction 10a has been identified and Highways England is currently progressing towards the submission of a Development Consent Order (the approvals process for major infrastructure) to Government in 2016. Ashford is a growing town and development pressures on the transport network must be considered.

Ashford is historically a railway town and consequently it has rail connections to Maidstone, Canterbury, Tonbridge, Folkestone and Hastings, as well as internationally via the Channel Tunnel. The bus network includes urban, inter-urban and rural services; and Stagecoach is the main bus operator in East Kent.

The A28 Chart Road improvement scheme is critical to the delivery of 5,750 homes at Chilmington Green and the reduction in congestion along this route is a priority scheme for both Ashford Borough Council (ABC) and KCC. ABC also plans to promote Ashford as a Cycling Town. The delivery of an improving cycle network and the doubling of cycle parking at Ashford International Station in 2015 (as well as its 2010 Station of the Year award in the National Cycle Rail Awards) provide opportunities to capitalise on the use of this mode of transport.

  • Ashford International rail connectivity (Ashford Spurs)
    Refer to item in Strategic Priorities
    Strongly agree
  • M20 Junction 10a
    Highways England are proposing a new M20 junction 10A and link road to the A2070 at Ashford in Kent with a new dual carriageway link road to the existing A2070 Southern Orbital Road (Bad Munstereifel Road) and also connect to the A20 Hythe Road.
    More information can be found on the Highways England Project Page
    Strongly agree
  • A28 Chart Road
    A proposal to change the A28 between the ‘Tank’ and ‘Matalan’ roundabouts into 2 lanes each way including:

    • changing the A28 into 2 lanes each way between the ‘Tank’ and ‘Matalan’ roundabouts
    • improvement of the ‘Tank’ roundabout, ‘Matalan’ roundabout, Loudon Way junction and other intermediate side roads/accesses
    • using the existing railway bridge for the northbound carriageway with construction of a new railway bridge to carry the southbound carriageway
    • extensive landscaping proposals
    • traffic noise screening for adjacent residents
    • provision of continuous shared footway/cycleways on both sides of the road
    • additional controlled crossings, for pedestrians and cyclists, at Loudon Way/Chart Road junction and Chart Road north of Matalan roundabout.

    More information can be found on the KCC project page
    Strongly agree

  • Ashford town centre project – including Ashford Station access and junction improvement – Station Approach/Elwick Road and Victoria Way. Strongly agree
    The improvement of traffic flow through the town, particularly in Station Road/Wellesley Road is needed, otherwise any improvements to these junctions is unlikely to be effective. This should include improved synchronisation of traffic signals throughout the town.
  • Pound Lane Strategic Link (Kingsnorth).
    A link to connect proposed development to the south and west of Kingsnorth to the Romney Marsh Road at the Park Farm roundabout
    The consultants report can be downloaded from ABC’s Local Plan Evidence base page  Agree
  • Bus service improvement – bus provision, capacity and frequency, including between major growth points and town centre. Strongly agree
  • Implementation of Ashford Cycling Strategy
    We list below the key targets of Ashford Cycling Strategy. The fully strategy can be downloaded from the KCC cycling strategies page.

    1. To continue to follow the above documents in developing new cycle paths and routes
    2. To share this guidance with developers, to ensure a consistent high standard of cycle routes in Ashford
    3. To plan and construct a comprehensive cycle network in Ashford
    4. Continue to work with local developers to help extend Ashford’s Cycle Network
    5. To encourage further cycle parking with local businesses in Ashford
    6. To continue to provide Sheffield Stands in Ashford
    7. To propose an Indoor Secure Cycle Parking Facility
    8. To integrate the Cycling Strategy with Ashford’s Public Transport Services
    9. To help local schools increase the numbers of pupils, staff and parents switch to cycling to travel to and from school
    10. To provide details of how the public transport network interlinks with Ashford’s cycling and walking networks via improving Ashford’s Cycle Map
    11. Ensure all future cycling/shared routes also serve local schools where possible
    12. To promote the health benefits of cycling via projects with local businesses and schools
    13. To work with the local Primary Care Trust to produce calorie maps for cycling and walking routes in Ashford
    14. To promote the benefits of active commuting to school and work
    15. To promote an annual cycling event for all abilities and ages
    16. Integrate the Cycling Strategy with Ashford’s Public Transport Services
    17. To help local schools increase the numbers of pupils, staff and parents switch to cycling to travel to and from school
    18. To provide details of how the public transport network interlinks with Ashford’scycling and walking networks via improving Ashford’s Cycle Map
    19. Continue to work with local developers to help extend Ashford’s Cycle Network
    20. To produce an interactive cycle map for Ashford, located in the Town Centre, in partnership with Ashford Borough Council and Ashford Town Centre Management
    21. To continue to monitor the number of cycle trips being undertaken
    22. To monitor the number of cycle trips both before and after new cycle tracks are constructed at key designated sites

    Strongly agree

  • Improvements to the former ring road
    Complete works to the Somerset Road, Wellesley Road and Station Road section of the old ring road to endorse the principles of what was completed on Elwick Road, West Street/Forge Lane. This project would be led by Ashford BC  Agree
    We support the improvement of pedestrian facilities on the remaining sections of the ring road, this must be achieved without impeding traffic flow into, from and through the town
  • Orbital Park roundabout upgrade.
    Transport modelling shows that Orbital Park roundabout will need to be upgraded within the local plan period, although responsibility falls to Highways England as this is part of the Strategic Road Network (SRN)
    Strongly agree
  • Park Farm Rail Halt feasibility assessment. Strongly agree

 Q7a. Please add any comments on the District Priorities [for Ashford] for the Local Transport Plan

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