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Maidstone Joint Transportation Board

16 January 2019


Highway and Pedestrian Safety Ė Roundwell, Bearsted


Decision Making Authority

Kent County Council

Lead Director

Simon Jones

Lead Head of Service

Tim Read

Lead Officer and Report Author

Jennie Watson/Brendan Wright

Wards and County Divisions affected

Wards: Bearsted, Detling and Thurnham

County Divisions: Maidstone Rural North, Maidstone Rural East

Which Member(s) requested this report?

Referral from Maidstone Borough Council Planning Committee



This report makes the following recommendations: That


1.   The report be noted.


2.   The off-site works already secured in support of the Barty Farm development be taken forward as a means of improving pedestrian safety and reducing traffic speeds on Roundwell.









Maidstone Joint Transportation Board

16 January 2019

Highway and Pedestrian Safety Ė Roundwell, Bearsted




1.1†† This report responds to the referral made by Maidstone Borough Councilís Planning Committee at their meeting held on 16 August adjourned to 23 August 2018.


1.2†† At the meeting of this Board on 17 October 2018, it was resolved that a report be submitted outlining the results of a safety audit for the Barty Farm development, including recommendations for improving pedestrian safety and reducing traffic speeds.† †





2.1     This report has been prepared to update members on the highway related requirements associated with the Barty Farm development and the outcome of investigations into pedestrian safety and traffic speed issues.





3.1     The Barty Farm development site is located at Barty Farm, to the north of Roundwell in Bearsted. The site is allocated for a residential development of approximately 122 dwellings under Policy H1 (21) in the adopted Maidstone Borough Local Plan.


3.2     Policy H1 (21) requires that the development is accessed via Roundwell, a road that provides access to Bearsted from the A20 (Ashford Road). Roundwell is subject to a 30mph speed limit in the vicinity of the site.


3.3     Outline planning permission for a development of 100 dwellings was granted by Maidstone Borough Council on 20 March 2018 (14/506738/OUT). Approval for the variation of conditions was then granted by Maidstone Borough Council on 20 September 2018 (18/502860/OUT).


3.4     Condition 16 of the planning permission requires that: †


There shall be no occupation of the development hereby permitted until the provision, by way of a Section 278 Agreement between the applicant and Kent County Council Highways, of the works identified in the application(s) relating to the new access works, crossing of Roundwell, and gateway features on Roundwell, are agreed with the planning and highway authorities.


Full details shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The approved scheme shall be fully carried out before occupation unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.


The approved visibility splays as shown on drawing no. 475/108E shall be retained at all times and the sight lines maintained free of all obstruction to visibility above 1.0 metres thereafter.


Reason: In the interests of highway safety.


3.5     A planning application for the approval of Reserved Matters is currently awaiting determination by Maidstone Borough Council (18/506167/REM).





4.1     Kent County Council regularly assess road safety on Kentís highway network, studying crash patterns over a 3-year period to identify locations where there are unexpectantly high numbers of crashes occurring.† The circumstances, vehicles and casualties involved in the crashes at a particular location are investigated to identify any patterns that engineering measures could prevent reoccurring in the future.† †


4.2     Personal Injury Accident data has been analysed for Roundwell, Bearsted for the latest available 3-year period and it has been established that there have been no recorded issues for this location.† This will not include any minor incidents of traffic collisions where there were no recorded personal injuries.


4.3     In the absence of any pre-existing pattern of crashes requiring intervention, the County Council has no current plans to implement new highway safety measures on Roundwell. The County Council will continue to monitor the situation.





5.1†††† Dialogue with the applicant on the Reserved Matters application has confirmed that the Barty Farm development estate roads will not be offered for adoption by the County Council as publicly maintainable highway. The applicant cannot therefore be required to comply with the County Councilís road adoption process, which requires the completion of a safety audit in advance of any technical approval.


5.2†††† The Transport Assessment submitted in support of the Outline planning application included the results of speed surveys undertaken at two site locations on Roundwell between Saturday 15 November 2014 and Friday 21 November 2014.† Site 1 was at the 30mph speed limit gateway entering Bearsted and site 2 was south-east of the Sutton Street junction.


5.3†††† The average mean speed at Site 1 was 28.8mph north-westbound and 29.6mph south-eastbound. The average mean speed at Site 2 was 30.9mph north-westbound and 31.1mph south-eastbound. These results demonstrated a good degree of compliance with the 30mph speed limit.


5.4††† In accordance with Condition 16 of the Outline planning permission, the applicant is required to provide visibility sightlines at the site access that are commensurate with the above measured speeds on Roundwell.


5.5††† In support of the Outline planning application the applicant also proposed to implement modifications to Roundwell to improve access to the site for pedestrians and enhance the overall levels of highway safety. These modifications included:


         provision of dropped kerbs and tactile paving to facilitate pedestrian crossing movements between the development site and the existing footway on the south-western side of Roundwell;

         removal of accumulated material at the back edge of the existing footway to provide an improved width for pedestrians;

         improvements to Public Footpath KH127 connecting Roundwell to Church Lane (secured by means of a financial contribution);

         re-laying of the red surfacing at the 30mph gateway to the east (if required as recently re-laid);

         provision of dragonsí teeth markings on the approach to the red surfacing;

         re-mounting and/or clearance of the 30mph signs to make them more visible;

         removal of the white centrelines from the gateway to a point northwest of the site entrance and the provision of a system of continuous and dashed carriageway edging lines to make private access driveways more visually prominent; and

         provision of a new interactive speed limit sign between the 30mph speed limit gateway and the development site entrance.


5.6††† The Maidstone Borough Council Planning Committee took account of the above works when making their decision to grant the Barty Farm development Outline planning permission.


5.7††† Delivery of the works by the applicant is secured through Condition 16 of the Outline planning permission. This requires the applicant to enter into a Section 278 Agreement with the County Council, thereby ensuring that the works are the subject of detailed design, safety auditing and technical approval in accordance with the County Councilís procedures for works on the highway by a third party.


5.8††† Submissions to initiate the Section 278 Agreement process are currently awaited.†


5.9††† The works secured in support of the Barty Farm development address the issues of pedestrian safety and speed reduction raised by this Board as requiring investigation.





6.1† † The recent crash records indicate that Roundwell does not currently warrant the provision of safety improvement measures by the County Council.


6.2†††† The Outline planning permission granted for the Barty Farm development secures the provision of safety improvement measures on Roundwell. These are required to be implemented in the event that the development is built.


6.3†††† The Board are asked to note the contents of the report and support the recommendation that the off-site works already secured in support of the Barty Farm development are taken forward as the means of improving pedestrian safety and reducing traffic speeds on Roundwell.