The site inherently benefits from excellent connections to the surrounding areas of Ditton, Aylesford and East Malling, and the wide range of amenities they offer, providing genuine opportunities for travel to/from these areas by sustainable modes of transport.
These opportunities will be enhanced through the development of a Sustainable Travel Strategy for the site. The strategy will identify measures to encourage and promote active travel, including walking and cycling, as well as the use of public transport. In addition to the inherent access to rail, it is anticipated that new and/or diverted public bus services will directly access the site to promote travel by bus.
We recognise that there would be some residual traffic impact arising from the proposals, and detailed traffic modelling has been carried out on our behalf by Kent County Council using their Strategic Transport Model, and specifically a forecast model developed from this for the purposes of the emerging Maidstone Local Plan. The transport modelling has tested alternative scenarios for development at the site, including variations of the amount of development and highway infrastructure.
A key component of the proposals is the provision of a new link road within the site providing a connection between Hermitage Lane and the committed highway infrastructure within the adjacent Whitepost Field development to the northeast of the site and Kiln Barn Road to the southwest.
A further east-west connection between Kiln Barn Road and New Road in East Malling, passing through The East Malling Trust Estate, is also being considered. The potential new highway infrastructure, which could provide an alternative and continuous east-west route between Allington and East Malling is shown in the image here:
Initial modelling outputs indicate that the new infrastructure provided as part of development at the site would result in net decreases in traffic on several areas of the surrounding highway network. Net reductions are forecast in traffic volumes on Hermitage Lane past Maidstone Hospital, the A20 corridor west of Hermitage Lane, the A26 east of Wateringbury, the M20 corridor west of J5 and at M20 J4, and the A228 Ashton Way.
Conversely, the modelling outputs forecast net increases in traffic to the northwest of the site towards M20 J5, and to the southwest of the site towards East Malling village. Further detailed assessment will be undertaken in these areas to determine the impact of additional traffic on the operation of the network, and to identify whether mitigation of the network is required
Given the existing highway constraints within East Malling village, a concept improvement scheme has been developed with the aim of improving traffic flow through the village and local pedestrian connections. The concept scheme comprises the relocation of on-street parking to an off-street facility providing a dedicated space for all residences currently without one. It is intended that the scheme will be further developed with input from local residents.