4 February 2020

Swale Borough Councillors Report - Boughton & Courtenay Ward

Lorry restrictions for Boughton and lorry parking.

Last summer saw some of the worst traffic problems in Boughton we’ve ever experienced. Traffic chaos was caused by lorries trying to avoid traffic congestion on the A2/M2 and being unable to pass on The Street in Boughton. We, especially Alastair, have been working with the parish councils on a petition to bring to the Joint Transportation Board, which has collected over 1100 signatures (over 600 on paper and nearly 500 on-line) so there can be no doubt about the strength of local feeling on this issue.
Jeff Tutt (Chair of Dunkirk Parish Council), Cllr Andrew Bowles for KCC, and Alastair had a meeting with Kent County Council Highways Department who have agreed to start work on a Traffic Restriction Order that will limit London Rd in Dunkirk, The Street in Boughton and Staplestreet to vehicles of less than 7.5 tonnes. The restriction will be ‘except for access’, so will not apply to any vehicle delivering to an address in Boughton. The proposal still needs to progress through the Joint Transportation Board – a joint Swale Borough Council and Kent County Council committee. However, agreement in principle has been reached, so we hope it will pass smoothly. This progress is largely due to the great persistence of Jeff Tutt in getting all the relevant, and some reluctant, parties to the table.

Swale suffers from unofficial lorry parking at the roadside, which causes noise for residents, litter and can be dangerous. The previous administration proposed a site for lorry parking near Brenley Corner. However, Swale Borough Council have taken the decision not to proceed with plans for the 300-vehicle lorry park. The problem requires a Kent-wide strategy to be developed between the Department for Transport, Highways England and Kent County Council. The plan would have caused extra lorries to use the roundabout, which is already at capacity. A lorry park could severely restrict options to redevelop the layout of junction 7. Parking restrictions in the lay-bys on the A2 would be required to make the drivers use a paid-for parking facility. However, the Department for Transport has indicated it was unwilling to introduce new parking restrictions on the A2. Swale Borough Council has agreed to maintain dialogue with partners to find a solution to lorry parking based on a Kent-wide strategy.

Alastair Gould (AlastairGould@swale.gov.uk)
Tim Valentine (TimValentine@swale.gov.uk) 07752 191807

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