Maidstone Integrated Transport
The A20 Ashford Road is the main route to Maidstone town centre from the east and from the M20 junction 8. This single carriageway, 30mph road has an average annual 2 way daily flow of between 13,800 and 21,800 vehicles per hour, to the east and west of the Willington Street junction respectively. The route carries two way peak flows of up to 1,850 vehicles per hour.
The A274 Sutton Road corridor is the main route to Maidstone for the communities to the south east of the town. This route also serves the main commercial and industrial area of Maidstone at Parkwood. The A274 is a single carriageway 30mph road which has a two way average daily flow of 19,000 and peak flows of 1,680 vehicles per hour.
Willington Street provides an important link between the A20 and A274 route corridors to the east of the town centre. A significant number of vehicles travel via Willington Street, the A20 and New Cut to access the M20 at junction 7 and routes to north Kent.
The road is heavily used by traffic travelling between the route corridors, attempting to avoid congestion in the town centre. Consequently there is a significant level of turning traffic at each end of Willington Street to and from the A20 and A274.
Purpose of the scheme
The Willington Street junction improvements are the first phase of the Maidstone ITP, which comprises of a package of measures across the town aimed at reducing the level of congestion within urban area.
The junctions at each end of Willington Street are currently operating with significant delay for traffic on the A20, A274 and on Willington Street, with queues on all arms. The purpose of the scheme is to ease congestion at these junctions, reducing delay and improving journey time reliability and the overall efficiency of the network.
Maidstone Borough Council is committed to the provision of 18,560 additional homes by 2031 as part of the Local Plan housing target. More than 2,000 of these homes are currently planned to the east of the town centre and in particular along the A274 corridor. Improvements to the junctions of Willington Street with the A20 and A274 will be crucial to accommodate additional demand arising from the new homes.
The Willington Street junction improvements are an example of a range of schemes being undertaken by KCC to achieve its strategic aims of being a better, more accessible and more sustainable county. In particular the Willington Street junction improvements will complement the subsequent elements of the wider integrated transport strategy for the Maidstone, which aims to relieve congestion and ease traffic movements through the town.
Willington Street Junction Improvements
The junctions at each end of Willington Street are considered to represent significant‘ pinch points’ along the A20 and A274 corridors, inhibiting traffic movement to the east and south of the town. Both junctions currently operate as signalised T junctions, which cater for heavy turning movements to and from Willington Street.
The scope of the scheme is to improve the existing signalised junctions of Willington Street with the A20 and with the A274 in order to maximise efficiency of the network and reduce queueing and delays. The A274 / Willington Street junction also encompasses the adjacent signalised junction of Wallis Avenue with the A274.
The Willington Street Junction Improvements Scheme will include:
- Widening of carriageway to allow for an additional lane westbound on the A274 on the approach to the Willington Street junction
- Widening of the westbound carriageway between the Willington Street and Wallis Avenue junctions to allow for 2 lanes of traffic
- Signal optimisation of the Willington Street and Wallis Avenue junctions to take account of the new arrangement
- Widening of carriageway to allow for a left turn lane on the westbound approach of the A20 to Willington Street
- Signal optimisation to take account of the revised junction arrangement
- Existing pedestrian and cycle facilities to be retained and enhanced where possible.
- Capital Investment - Kent & Medway, LGF1, More than £2m