£1.5million Maidstone bus station revamp must come alongside Maidstone East development

The redevelopment of a town centre’s bus station must come in time for major development, a transport campaigner has said.Earlier this month the Kent Messenger revealed Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) hoped to submit its £1.5million plans for Maidstone bus station by the end of the year.

James Willis, a former borough councillor, has welcomed the news.He said: “This is a great opportunity to improve the bus station. I would urge the councillors to seize this opportunity to join up the improvements with nearby train stations.”Maidstone is a great place to work and live but it needs improvement. Traffic and congestion are some of the more pressing issues we face.

“Having a cohesive public transport network will help to reduce congestion, improve the environment and encourage residents to use our buses and trains.In 2017, a tri-study of Maidstone’s bus, park and ride and parking interchanges said the bus station next to The Mall was “not fit for purpose”.

Mr Willis called for improvements to information boards, a “dangerous” ramp for older or disabled residents access, and the risk of pollution.He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity and in reality it is essential to keep traffic flowing while creating a good environment that doesn’t get polluted.”All the while the council will need to look at the town centre as a whole.

“It’s great to see the plans are progressing and it’s great the Kent Messenger has been putting across its own positive message about Maidstone.”Speaking about the 1960s bus station, John Foster head of regeneration and economic development at MBC, said: “The authority has set aside some funding and we’ve now commissioned architects to redesign the station.

“We’re hoping it can go to planning at the end of the year.”The station is run down, dirty and well past its sell by date.”We want to bring in new technology and improve the lighting so some natural light can get in there.”There are a lot of opportunities to improve it.”Mr Willis invited public transport users to the next Maidstone West Bus Forum at the OneMaidstone offices in The Mall on Monday, September 16 at 6pm.

Thankyou to Kent Online for their Post: https://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/campaigners-call-over-bus-station-improvement-211220/

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