13 JUL 2015

Driving Down Speed Limits - Success for Helen Grant MP and Local Campaigners!

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald, recently visited St. Helen's Montessori School in East Farleigh to celebrate the success of the local 'Stop Speeding' petition. 

The campaign was started by local residents, who contacted Helen after a very serious collision last year which resulted in an elderly man having to be cut from his vehicle. It was clear that urgent action was required before there was a fatality.

Mrs Grant was determined to confront the authorities about the issue of speeding on the B2010 and B2163 between East Farleigh through West Farleigh to the top of Yalding Hill. In particular there were serious concerns as this route passed St Helen's Montessori Primary School.

The West Farleigh Road Action Group joined with St. Helen's Montessori School to form a petition which requested a reduction to the speed limits of 40 and 50 mph by 10mph. They obtained over 1,000 signatures and Helen presented this to Kent County Council's Cabinet Member for Transport on Friday 9th January at County Hall, Maidstone. The community presented a united front to this serious topic with school children, parents, teachers, residents and parish, borough and county councillors alike, attending the handover.

After Maidstone Borough Council's Joint Transportation Board met on 15th April 2015, an agreement was made for the proposed changes to go ahead with funding coming from two sources. The first being the local County Member Paulina Stockell, who is part funding the initiative from her Combined Members Grant and the remainder will be taken from the existing highway budget.

Helen said:

"I am absolutely delighted that Kent County Council have listened
 to our calls and will be proceeding with the suggested speed limit changes.

I am grateful to everyone who signed the petition and the local residents who have worked so tirelessly on this issue.

However rural speeding remains a worrying issue which is why I set up a Rural Speeding Working Group which had its first meeting in March and is due to reconvene in September."

Roy Plommer said:

"Helen listened very carefully to our concerns and agreed to support the petition by presenting it to KCC. We are grateful for her action on this matter. These are significant changes that will ensure the safety on these heavily used country roads."

The speed limit change is currently being advertised as part of statutory consultation process which can be lengthy but it is hoped by all parties involved that there will be no objections presented.

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