Tag Archives: medway council

Best wishes Ted!

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Mark has been privileged to serve with Councillor Ted Baker as a ward colleague.

Ted is standing down at this election after over thirty years of service to Medway Council and the old Rochester upon Medway Council. Ted twice served as Mayor of Medway, in 2001/02 and again in 2011/12, and has been Deputy Mayor on five occasions.

Hundreds, probably thousands, of people across Rochester will recall Ted’s kindness and the help he has given to so many people on matters big and small. It is wonderful that Ted’s service to Rochester was marked by Medway Council making him an Honorary Alderman at its meeting on 23rd April. Mark Reckless said:

“Over the past 15 years Ted has taught me a great deal about Rochester and its history, as well as always putting constituents first. I am grateful to him. Many reading this will want to join me in wishing Ted and his wife Sylvia a very happy retirement”.

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Getting Strood Moving

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Mark Reckless would like to thank the hundreds of people across Strood who returned the survey on his proposed road changes to Get Strood Moving.

The four different measures which Mark proposes to improve traffic flow through Strood gained substantial support in the consultation:

  • 86% support introducing traffic lights at Darnley Arch roundabout;
  • 89% support changes to Commercial Road between B&Q and McDonalds;
  • 92% support creating a new one way Strood-bound road from Rochester Bridge through to Strood Retail Park and Knights Road; and
  • 91% support improvements to the Medway City Estate exit including a new third lane up to the Sans Pareil roundabout.

Having confirmed money is available, Mark will now look to progress these improvements with Medway Council if he is re-elected.

Rochester train station speeding towards completion

Earlier today I was the guest of Network Rail at Rochester’s fast-emerging new station. I am grateful to Sara, Mary and site manager Tony for showing me around this amazing project as it speeds towards completion.

WP_20150414_051All is on schedule for the station’s completion and the introduction of a new timetable by 16th December. This should include two extra 12 car trains per hour during the morning peak with more trains stopping then at Rochester, the fruition of a long-term campaign for me.

Crucially, it was confirmed to me today, that there will be continuing scope for reduction in journey times to London after December.

Some trains may be a minute or two faster from December. However, greater time reductions should be in prospect thereafter, with line speeds potentially being increased as the safety and reliability of the new signalling system is proven.

Trains running 3-4 minutes faster to London would be great for Rochester, the wider Medway Towns, and all the way down the line to Ramsgate.

Mark Reckless welcomes Hoo housing rejection

IMG_5979_edited-1Mark Reckless, UKIP Parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood, has welcomed the decision to refuse planning permission to build 475 houses on the land west of Hoo.

Mark Reckless and UKIP’s Cllr Chris Irvine joined local residents in objecting to Taylor Wimpey’s plans to concrete over the significant greenfield site following Tory Medway Council’s complete failure to develop a coherent local plan. UKIP’s Cllr for Strood Rural, Peter Rodberg, who is on the planning committee, voted against the plans but was shocked that Tories on the planning Committee once again used this is an opportunity to push the discredited plans to destroy Lodge Hill.

Speaking of the decision, Mark Reckless said:

“I was delighted to hear the news that the council had accepted the arguments which I and many local residents had submitted against these plans. UKIP is the only party standing up for local residents and opposing large-scale development of our Hoo Peninsula. I will continue to put people before politics, and fight to protect our villages and communities on the Hoo Peninsula.”

Let’s Get Strood Moving

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Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, has launched a consultation on his proposals to improve traffic flow to and through Strood town centre.

Local residents in Strood and Rochester have been plagued for years by poor traffic flow through this key part of Medway.

Mark Reckless is consulting residents on the following proposals:

  1. Introducing traffic lights at Darnley Arch roundabout;
  2. Changes to Commercial Road between B&Q and McDonalds;
  3. Creating a new one way Strood-bound road from Rochester Bridge through to Strood Retail Park and Knights Road; and
  4. Improvements to the Medway City Estate exit.

Mark Reckless MP said:

“I have received numerous complaints from residents about traffic problems in Strood, and it is becoming noticeably worse with many drivers sitting in gridlocked traffic. Traffic congestion is a threat to businesses and future investment in our towns, and has a direct impact on the quality of life for local residents.

Councillors on Medway Council’s planning committee recently approved plans which will see the existing slip road into Strood Retail Park, despite my objections, removed, which is only likely to exacerbate the situation.

We now need urgent action to get Strood moving. Over the coming weeks I will be consulting residents in Strood and Rochester on a number of proposals aimed at easing congestion and cutting journey times to and through Strood.

I would urge all residents and people who travel through Strood to take part in my consultation to ensure we have a road system in Strood which works for and not against local residents and businesses.”

Have Your Say

Please complete the web form below to have your say on which of the following ideas you support:

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1: Introduce traffic lights at Darnley Arch roundabout. Rush hour queues to the A228 roundabout at its junction with Darnley and Northcote Roads are unacceptably long. Following works at Darnley Arch, the next step could be to replace the current roundabout with a crossroads junction controlled by traffic lights to improve traffic flow.

2: Changes to Commercial Road between B&Q and McDonalds. Traffic currently flows poorly where two separate lanes of traffic enter Commercial Road opposite B&Q. One lane, which is London or Cuxton bound from Rochester, meets one turning right from Strood High Street. Traffic need not merge at that point, as Commercial Road has two lanes, but vehicles often stop as it they need to merge. This worsens Rochester bound queues that can stretch back up the A2 in Strood beyond the 30mph signs and Woodstock/Castle View Roads junctions. Changes could also cut queues in Rochester on the A2 and Esplanade.

A physical lane divider as vehicles enter Commercial Road could therefore improve traffic flow. Better road marking to show that both A2 and A228 traffic can then use the left lane could also help, as could extending the third filter lane for A228 traffic turning left. However, these changes could probably only be implemented if we were to remove one of the three pedestrian crossings we currently have on this 200 yard stretch of road.

3: New one way Strood-bound road from bridge to B&Q and Morrisons car parks. There are almost constant delays on the A2 from Rochester bridge through to Knight Road. One way to relieve those delays would be to divert traffic heading to the Retail Park or to Morrisons onto the left filter road previously used to access the now demolished Strood Civic Centre. That road could potentially be extended around the current car park there, through the railway arch, and onto the road that runs between the Strood Retail Park and Morrisons car parks. We could then install traffic lights to improve traffic flow where that new one-way new road met Knight Road.

4: Medway City Estate exit improvements. In the near term a third lane exiting Medway City Estate, along with traffic lights some distance back on the Gillingham side of the tunnel to ensure gaps in traffic, should help reduce afternoon queues to leave the estate. Senior council officers also now appear to have agreed the proposal by Mark Reckless to build a new third lane for Strood-bound traffic from the Estate up to the Sans Pareil roundabout. We may not then need to open the Canal Road exit to vehicles other than buses.

Campaign success as Lodge Hill ‘called in’

Medway Council’s support for Lodge Hill and concreting over a bird sanctuary to build 5,000 houses played a key part in my decision to leave the Conservative Party and join UKIP. The Conservative Council’s plans, supported by both Labour and the Lib Dems have now, after months of our campaigning, been stopped in their tracks.

In an extremely welcome announcement today, acting in a quasi-judicial capacity, the Department of Communities and Local Government has decided to ‘call in’ Medway Council’s decision – see letter below. This means Lodge Hill cannot proceed pending a full Public Inquiry. In particular, this will consider how on earth Medway Council could possibly think it right to approve Lodge Hill when the National Planning Policy Framework states “proposed development on land within a Site of Special Scientific Interest should not normally be permitted”.

I am absolutely delighted at this news. It is a remarkable win for all of us who oppose destruction of this special site following its designation as an SSSI. I believe this is a vindication of my decision to call a by-election and put Lodge Hill at the forefront of my campaign, putting the environmental devastation that would have resulted from the Council’s decision at the centre of national debate.

Today is a very big victory, but I will not rest until we have won the war and defeated Medway Council and its Lodge Hill development at the Public Inquiry.

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Campaign success as elderly get crossing

2Mark Reckless MP can announce that elderly residents are to get a new zebra crossing at Hollywood Lane, Wainscott. The crossing will be located at the entrance to Greenfields Close – which is sheltered housing for the elderly.

The campaign calling on Medway Council to install a crossing was started five years ago by local resident Jean Lawrence. Mrs Lawrence started the campaign due to the difficulties that local people were having leaving their homes – with several elderly residents refusing to leave their houses due to the danger the road posed to them.

Jean contacted local UKIP Councillor Peter Rodberg who began to work with Jean to push for the council to install the crossing. When they contacted Mark Reckless, and he threw his weight behind the campaign, they finally got a result.

Greenfields residents were delighted with the news, with one saying it was “fantastic” that they would finally be getting the crossing they needed. They thanked Jean, Peter and Mark for their hard work, as Mark introduced them to the Medway Council officers who would make the crossing a reality.

4Jean Lawrence said:

“I’m ecstatic – you have no idea how much a difference that a crossing makes to all of us here in Greenfield Close. It will allow us to be able to come and go like we haven’t been able to before. I’d like to thank both Mark and Peter for supporting my campaign and I’m just so pleased that Medway Council have agreed to finally install the crossing.”

Mark Reckless added:

“This is a fantastic result. It is a great feeling when you are able to help local residents get exactly what they need. It goes to show just what a difference local people can make in their community. It was a project with which I was delighted to help and I would like to congratulate Jean – all of her hard work has paid off.”

There will be a period of formal consultation in March with construction due to start in June.