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This is what they didn’t want you to know?

Home / Blog / This is what they didn’t want you to know?
30
Jul

Finally after weeks of scratching around for limited and often incomplete information from both Swale Borough Council and the Spirit of Sittingbourne someone has kindly provided (leaked) details on the complete scope of works associated with all four phases of highways alterations in relation to Sittingbourne’s town centre regeneration.

They really did not want you to have this information and I’ve been told countless times now “we’re not releasing details of the works for phases two, three and four”

Even with regards to elements of the first phase which began last week and starts in earnest tomorrow, they failed to come up with answers my questions which I can only conclude means that they have failed to arrive at an alternative solution to the one proposed which will undoubtedly cause considerable pain.

So without further ado, here is as complete a run down as you’ll get from anywhere on the next 13 months or more of roadworks in Sittingbourne town centre.

Phase 1 - 24th July to 22nd November 2017




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  • Closure of Milton Road for four or five weeks from 24th July to 18th August

  • Pedestrian access along Milton Road to remain open.

  • Lane closures on Eurolink Way

  • Closure of St Michaels Car Park from 1st August to 29th September

  • Diversion of westbound traffic along St Michaels Road, via Station Street

  • Traffic travelling east bound on Station Road can only continue east bound on joining St Michaels Road, there is no option to turn left to travel back to the train station and the no left turn on the current bus/taxi slip road outside the forum will remain in force.

  • A section of Station Road from the West Street junction to the back of Wilkos will be widened with roadworks first on one side of the road and then the other

  • Similarly, a section of West Street from the Park Road junction to the top of Station Street will also be widen on both sides.

 

Phase 2 – 8th January to 9th May 2018




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  • The area in front of the train station to be completely closed with no access to Milton Road, Dover Street or the existing train station car park entrance.

  • The new train station entrance via St Michaels Car Park will be opened

  • The main traffic flow along St Michaels Road will be diverted both ways and flow into Station Street and then West Street. HGV’s should not travel via the town centre at this point, otherwise they will be major problems.

  • The one way system effectively becomes redundant at this point, as it will have no connection with St Michaels Road and you will be forced along West Street and then Station Road.

  • The existing link between Station Street and St Michaels Road will be terminated in order to release the land for the new Multi -Storey Car Park and a new route will be create roughly opposite the entrance to Kwik Fit.

  • Access along Milton Road will be diverted right around the small section of Dover Street that feeds pass the Water Place Chinese Restaurant and then back onto the one way system.

Phase 3 – 10th May to 11th July 2018




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  • This is where the alignment of St Michaels Road returns to something more akin to the existing layout, albeit bending round in front of the train station where you will face a new set of traffic lights controlling the flow between St Michaels Road, Dover Street and Milton Road in place of the function that the roundabout used to perform.

  • The drawing appear to show that the section of St Michaels road along side of Cockleshell Walk Car Park will be reduced to one lane to provide parking bays for the flats that will be developed on this car park.

  • This is a speculative guess, but the drawings also appear to show speed calming measures with raised sections of road along West Street on the Pembury Street and Station Street junctions.


Phase 4 – 12th July to 3rd October 2018


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  • Essentially the section of St Michaels Road along Cockleshell Walk and Spring Street car park is deprioritised and will effectively become a residential street serving the new housing developments on the two car parks.

  • The section of Dover Street running in front of Lidl will become two way and now be the primary access to the train station and St Michaels Road.

So why the big secret, it’s difficult to understand really, the assumption is that it’s simply too much information for us non-profession mortals to understand. Obviously, you should take on board that the timelines and even possibly the schedule of events may change. At the best of times construction projects have a tendency to change so it’s only fair that you expect some of this information to change as we progress through the development.

Personally I would rather have the full picture to understand the overall aims of the scheme than the present regime of keeping us all in the dark until the last possible minute. If last week’s video taught me anything, it’s that there is a huge appetite for this information and so far both the council and the Spirit of Sittingbourne have failed to learn from lessons passed.

Thank you to all 45,000 plus people who viewed the video, it’s absolutely staggering to have reached such a wide local audience and we will continue to give you the information as and when we get hold of it.

Andy Hudson
Sittingbourne

 

Update

In response to this article, a spokesperson from The Spirit of Sittingbourne commented 

"As is standard practice, we only release details of highways works once they have been agreed with the highways authority, in this case Kent County Council, which is usually a few weeks before works are proposed to start."

"We have proposals for all four phases of roadworks to facilitate the Spirit of Sittingbourne scheme, which were presented to local councillors in June. We will release details of future phases, planned to take place over 2018, once agreement has been reached with KCC. To release details beforehand would be to pre-empt discussions with the local highways authority, which inevitably lead to changes to our proposed works and outdated information in the public domain."






Comments

Showing comments 1 to 10 of 10

comment

So at the end of stage 4 artic lorries will be coming up past Lidl on West street and expected to turn into Dover street then round to the station that way?

The Artic lorries will not make that corner at West Street to Dover St without having to cross the white line onto oncoming traffic.

Comment by James on 21 Aug 2017
comment
All this for 6 branded shops that you can find anywhere and a cinema that will have the knuckle dragging misfits making sure it's a no go zone for decent folk. It's a smoke screen to build cheap housing to make lots of money for a few individuals underwritten with public money. Still the apathetic get what they deserve!
Comment by Colin on 16 Aug 2017
comment

If the map of phase 4 is accurate then how does one get into the High Street approaching from the West Street direction? It looks as if you will have to cross the two-way traffic flow at the junction with Dover Street (assuming you will be allowed to). Also what is happening with the junction at the bottom of Park Road (currently no right turn) - will this be a T-junction?

 Also, with the smoke screen of all that is happening around the railway station, has the destruction/redevelopment of Central Avenue car park etc been swept under the carpet for now?

There seems to be a lot of unanswered questions - perhaps the answers are on a council blue paper somewhere.

Comment by James on 07 Aug 2017
comment

August the 1st Oh and there"s NO GRID LOCK !!!

Stop moaning and get behind bringing this town into the 21st century .

Comment by Tony Cotton on 01 Aug 2017
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God help us the town is gridlocked already I don't  know about improvements  they are going to kill the town. Crown key light's  and roundabout is hopeless already and they havent started yet.
Comment by Dennis Goodwin on 31 Jul 2017
comment
Well spotted, glad these aren't my drawings. There is definitely two way traffic in front of the train station, they would appear to have missed added the red arrows on that section.
Comment by Andy Hudson on 31 Jul 2017
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Phase 4 - traffic on final proposed scheme. The red arrows disappear in front of the station. Where will this traffic go? 
Comment by Fred on 31 Jul 2017
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The whole of Sittingbourne will grind to a halt, and local businesses will lose trade. Sittingbourne will be chaotic and I for one will try to avoid going near the High Street! Has the council made any offers of compensation for lost trade?
Comment by Thelma Stagg on 31 Jul 2017
comment
Unfortunately, no I don't know how phase 2 will work with regards to pedestrian access. I was lucky to even get hold of this information and no one is prepared to talk about phases 2, 3 and 4 at this time.
Comment by Andy Hudson on 30 Jul 2017
comment
Any idea if the access restrictions mentioned in phase 2 include pedestrians?
Comment by Andrew Jordan on 30 Jul 2017
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