Maidstone Gyratory Bypass
The proposal is a localised transport scheme which is located within an urban setting in Maidstone town centre.
The gyratory system which traverses the River Medway via two bridges, acts as a key focal point for traffic within the town. Two key arterial routes within the town, in the form of the A229 and A20, converge at this point. These arterial routes provide the main north-south and east-west corridors through the town centre. As a result the gyratory also accommodates a significant number of bus services currently operating within the town.
The gyratory is currently heavily used with approximately 5500 vehicles per hour in the peak periods. This vehicular throughput consists of a variety of origin-destination movements and associated lane selection and changing.
The centre of Maidstone currently observes congestion and delay during peak highway periods and the gyratory is considered a key contributing factor to the current issues.
The convergence of key arterial routes combined with the constrained nature of the gyratory due the presence and location of the river creates a ‘pinch point’ in the network and poor reliability in terms of journey times. Maidstone is notably more trafficked than other Kent towns in terms of the inner cordon (broadly the town centre).
The current configuration of the gyratory means that northbound traffic on the A229 is forced to cross the river twice in order to continue their route. This causes increased delay at the gyratory as vehicles entering the junction on different approaches are held to allow this movement to take place. In addition it increases the distance and journey time for northbound journeys on the A229.
Scheme Layout and Function
The proposed scheme consists of the provision of a direct northbound link on the A229 to the north of the river which has been designed to remove the need for the northbound traffic to circulate the gyratory.
The proposal provides a new northbound link between the A229 (S) and A229 (N), consisting of two 3.5 metre wide lanes. The proposed arrangement would require the provision of an additional set of traffic signal control where the new link merges with the existing A229 to the north of the gyratory to eliminate conflict between A229 northbound traffic and northbound traffic on St. Peters Bridge. Furthermore the proposal incorporates minor alterations to kerblines and lane markings where the A229 exits the gyratory system to provide more coherent lane designations for drivers.
Location of the Scheme
The Maidstone Bridges Gyratory is located in the centre of Maidstone where the A229 and A20 corridors intersect at the River Medway.
- Capital Investment - Kent & Medway, LGF1, More than £2m