Medway Cycle and Walking routes

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As part of a Walking Infrastructure Plan, Medway would like to know your views on its proposed new walking and cycling routes. These are supposed to help improve and increase the network for people travelling actively in Medway.

There is one cycle route that effects the Hoo peninsula that has already been started, you have seen it being built on the west bound side down Four Elms Hill, its called Route 9

 Route 9 it is proposed to run from Main road in Hoo adjacent to the A228 down Four Elms Hill to the roundabout the left along Welfare Way A228 across the Sans  Pareil roundabout across Berwick Way to Frindsbury Hill and on to Station Road where it links up with the route 10 roundabout.

Medway are asking for your views about Route 9 in a consultation they are running that closes on 3rd March We have already completed the consultation and said that we feel it is in the wrong place for theses reasons.

Go to Medway walking and cycling  consultation

  • It is too close to the A228, probably the most dangerous road in Medway.
  • The route is next to two roads the A228 and A289 with national speed limits.
  • Frindsbury Hill is too narrow to accommodate a cycle lane.

We think that cyclist would be better served by a different  route perhaps along Upchat  road through Upnor and on to station road from there.

Please have you say about Route 9 what ever you think

Please see below the two parts of Route 9 in more detail 


Hoo Boxing Art and Cooking projects

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There are still spaces on the  four-week  project Hoo Boxing or an Arts award at the Library, in Church Street Hoo  ME3 9AL,. The project will take place every Wednesday night  6-8pm,  up and until the last session  on the  8th of March. Both activities  are for young people age between 10 and 19 years old.  Lindsay Hartney will be running the Art Award project and Tom from Olympic Boxing will be running the Boxing project

There will then be a second 4 week project which will also run on a Wednesday nights  6-8pm of boxing and cooking/food hygiene,  beginning the  29th March, and then the 5th  12th  and 19th  of April. The boxing is age 10-19 years,  There Cooking  will aim to complete the level two award  in food hygiene, so young people need to be 15 years+ and attend all four sessions.

To book or for more information please contact Lindsay Hartney at  (phone 07795236289)

Respond to latest Planning application Lodge hill

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The Hoo Peninsula’s Nightingales at Lodge Hill are under threat from these planning applications – Natural England and the RSPB agree. We need to support them and potentially Call-In the application to the Secretary of State if Medway Council’s Planning Committee disagree.

As the date for submission has past we have removed the link to the template we hope you found it helpfulPlease see a template response below. If you would like to send it as your own response, fill in your details and click submit. You can also add your own comments to the submission if you wish or leave a comment here.

Your response will go directly to Medway Council’s Planning Department and you will also receive an email showing the response you have sent. Please see the template submission in full below.

 As the date for submission has past we have removed the link to the template we hope you found it helpful.

Respond Now to Hoo Development Framework HDF.

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Medway Council is currently consulting on their Hoo Development Framework (HDF) plan for the Hoo Peninsula. Medway Council are asking the people of Chatham, Rainham and Capstone what they think too.! So don’t miss out on this opportunity to have your say.

As the date for submission has past we have removed the link to the template we hope you found it helpful.



Peninsula Elections

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 George Crozer will be contesting the Peninsula Ward by-election on Thursday 8th December.

I’m pleased to announce that George Crozer,  Michael Pearce and myself will be standing as a team of Independent candidates, in the new Hoo and High Halstow Ward (includes Chattenden), for the Medway Council local election next May.


Joint Statement from Independent Councillors Mick Pendergast and Ron Sands

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Local Plan Withdrawl puts ‘Medway in Jeopardy’ and ‘on the Road to Ruin’

At the recent Medway Council Cabinet meeting it was agreed unanimously by the Cabinet members to accept the recommendation to present the draft Regulation 19 Local Plan for debate by the full Medway Council.

The draft Local Plan as presented was hailed by Councillor Rodney Chambers as “Our ambition for the future of Medway”.

Councillor Potter confirmed he was “happy to support the recommendation” stating “This is a key piece of local policy”. It is “Ultimately about putting our destiny back in our hand”. He continued that “Without it, it is a road to ruin”.

The draft local plan has now been removed from the Council agenda with Planning Portfolio Holder Jane Chitty stating it is to ensure members have the full suite of all documentation relating to the draft plan.”  

This begs the question, given Councillor Chitty’s comments when presenting said recommendation to Cabinet, why was the draft plan as presented by the Portfolio Holder incomplete?

Councillor Chitty clearly set out the Council’s responsibilities saying

“I want to explain a little about the local plan process. The process has been laid out by consecutive governments. We have to comply with that process. So everything we do as a local authority, and this applies to everyone has to reflect what government has sought from us and that is an irrefutable fact.”

Cllr Chitty then went on to stress the need for compliance

“The reason I am pushing about complying with government requirements, the first thing the Inspector will do is measure Government requirements and what this authority has done to comply and I have to say with absolute honesty if we had missed out on one of those compliances it would fall at the first hurdle and we cannot allow that to happen.” 

She continued

“It will put the whole of Medway in jeopardy in a number of different ways.”

There can be no doubt about the emphasis Medway Council has placed on the compliance requirement. 

Councillor Chitty confirmed “compliance has to be the key word. And we have actually employed people to check and double check to ensure that that compliance is fully understood.”

In light of the Portfolio Holder’s own words, it is clear she has failed manifestly by presenting an incomplete document that likely “would fall at the first hurdle”.

 This failure has dire consequences and by her own admission puts “the whole of Medway in jeopardy”. 

Commenting on the draft plan, Councillor Pendergast said “Not only is it incomplete it contains glaring and obvious errors which makes you wonder if the Cabinet members actually read it” He continued “Mass replacement of the Cabinet would do more harm than good but each cabinet member should take a long hard look at themselves.”

Councillor Sands, who opposes unsustainable development anywhere in Medway, not just on the Peninsula, suggested people could no longer have any confidence in the Planning Portfolio holder stating “Councillor Chitty should seriously consider her position not just as a Portfolio Holder but also as a Councillor” adding “Whether she remains in post in light of everything that has happened is ultimately a question for the Leader of the Council. This is a defining moment for his leadership.” 

Cllr Pendergast Cllr Sands 

Chatham Docks

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Interesting morning yesterday spent with fellow councillor George Crozer at Chatham Docks now under threat from landowners Peel L & P who supported by Medway Council want to close the docks.
The closure of the Docks would have a devastating impact on Medway leading to:
The loss of 1,440 jobs both at the docks and through local supply chains
The loss of £150 million of annual investment into the Medway economy. Chatham Docks is the largest single sector source of revenue in Chatham.
Yesterday first hand I witnessed the skill and dedication of a highly trained workforce and their professionalism.
Kelly Tolhurst MP made a passionate speech in the House of Commons to save the docks, to save our maritime history from the maniacal rush to build build build at all cost and damm the consequence. Her speech heaps even more pressure onto landowners Peel L&P and Medway Council who want to turn Medway’s 400 year old commercial port into riverside flats. Another example of the build at all cost mentality from Medway Council who’s City of Culture bid should embrace this 400 year old port and its part in the maritime history of the Medway Towns, but as we know Medway Council are very selective on the parts to preserve and enhance just look at the plans for the Hoo Peninsula which would be the jewel in the crown for most local authorities but for our council it’s a place to put at risk the National and International protected area, and to totally destroy Hoo Village a village mentioned in the 1086 Doomsday Book.
All because they refused to stand up to Government and say NO we cannot meet these ridiculous house building targets, we cannot destroy the history and the heritage of Medway our job is to protect and preserve the environmental areas, to allow our great farming history as part of the Garden of England to continue with crop growing and not turn these fields into fields of bricks and Tarmac.
Local Parishes of the Peninsula are uniting, our MP is championing our cause to save Chatham Docks and our beloved Peninsula.

Medway City of culture?

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Today the government  announced the launch of the 2025 UK City of Culture Competition. You’ll be aware that Medway Council are entering the race for this prestigious title to take advantage of valuable tourism and economic benefits.

Medway has world class heritage and the potential to become a major cultural destination. It also has international and national protected areas here on the Hoo Peninsula, it’s a unique and stunningly beautiful area. A motion put to a full Medway council to consider attaching the Hoo Peninsula to the Kent Downs AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) supported by the two independent peninsula candidates and Medway Labour Party was in stopped in its tracks by Medway Conservative. The leader of that party and leader of Medway Council  instructed his party to vote against the motion,  stating the Hoo Peninsula has enough protection already,  But it’s not  enough protection to stop his plans to build more than 10000 homes here,  destroying acres grade one agricultural land that has helped fed the nation for hundred of years and on a peninsula that is by his own admission unsustainable.
This could have been a joint campaign for Medway communities and businesses to come together and shape Medway’s future not only as a City of Culture but as the custodians of a world class landscape rich in history and natural heritage with distinctive biodiversity. This should become a major part of Medway’s plan to combat climate change and the ecological emergency in its declaration of a climate emergency.
A chance to even discuss what an ANOB could bring to the Medway towns thwarted! A chances explore the vision of what  the combination of Medway’s  historic, cultural and natural heritage  could have brought to a city of Culture bid, dismissed without a thought.



Medway’s North South Divide

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“This proposal would harm the character, function and appearance of the countryside, would harm that Area of Local Landscape Importance, (would have) unacceptable impact on the setting of the country park and would also be unacceptable in terms of its impact and viability of the rural footpath network.”

These words could be written by Medway about the Hoo Peninsula but  Medway Conservatives are whipped so much they won’t even discuss the possibility. The Peninsula should and could be an ANOB. 

This opening statement was written in objection to an appeal application for 800 houses around the Capstone Valley. 800 houses not the 10,600 planned for the Peninsula.

Medway’s favourite son Charles Dickens wrote “a Tale of Two Cites” but Medway has now become a Council of two sides of the River, The South side protected at all costs against development and the North side a national and internationally  protected area with the most exceptional landscapes where the drive to develop fields of agricultural crops into fields of brick and tarmac is unrelenting.

Medway Council’s HIF project “Unlocking Medway’s Future” includes:

  • A rail service that many rail consultants describe as not feasible and cannot take seriously.
  • A  spur road that will cut a swathe through Deangate Ridge for no other reason than to open up an area which is considered Medway’s best country park we don’t have.
  •  A flyover that will blight the homes and lives of hundreds of families in Wainscott.
  • A development of 180 houses beside one of the busiest roundabouts in Medway at Frindsbury along with the remodelling of a Grade one listed barn.
  • The proposed closure of a village school in Stoke despite parents wishes for this community school to remain open.

 I wonder if “ Unlocking Medway’s Future “ actually means sacrificing Frinsbury, Wainscott and the Hoo Peninsula  when in another statement made to the planning committee explained how despite the needs of the council to meet its housing targets, officers had concerns about the density of homes on the site, disruption of the views from Darland Banks, and the potential impact of the development on the residents living on the northern edge of the site.

800 houses in Capstone and a worry about density, 10,600 houses in Hoo and a decision being railroaded through.

It’s our choice so make your voice heard email your MP your Ward councillors and the leaders of Medway Council. They need to hear your opinion!

I believe that the Master planning and creation of local communities should be with the co-operation of the people living there so can invest and engage in the very neighbourhoods they live in.

Deangate Running Track

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Deangate wasn’t only a well loved and used community golf club. An athletic complex was added some time ago providing track and field facilities, an indoor gym and hard standing Tennis courts.
Over the years the fully synthetic 400m athletic track with 6 lanes has been used by Olympic medalist and international athletes  and were often seen using the facilities:
 Steve Buckley OBE, Olympic medalist and British Record holder for Javelin.
 Bob Mathews MBE blind middle distance runner and winner of 8 gold medals.
Elizabeth Anne Yarnold, OBE former British skeleton racer with consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2014 and 2018 she is the most successful British Winter Olympian and the most successful Olympic skeleton athlete of all time from any nation.
During the pandemic the track has been a welcome oasis and extensively  used by individual, families and clubs alike  to improve their Health and well being .
If the spur road proposed by Medway Council goes ahead through Deangate and “Parkland Living”  is brought forward we will lose this well loved and well used local facility in the same way the golf course was stolen from us.
Over the last few years Medway Council has deliberately allowed the track, tennis court and football pitches to fall into disrepair with buildings not been repaired, broken fences around the courts and a general malaise. Cycle clubs, fitness clubs have all be evicted from the buildings at the same the Council continues to subsidise the private Lordswood Leisure Centre  to the tune of £80k per year.
If you or your family use or have ever used the facility at Deangate Sports Centre please do not allow this council’s HIF project to rob the peninsula of more facilities.
Please sign the petition below.

Trees and Hedgerows

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Damson, Goat Willow, Hawthorn and Elder… not cast members from a Harry Potter film, but some of the many species of the trees that developers over the last few years have ripped out because they are apparently ‘low quality’, or ‘over mature’. The other day I was stood on the edge of a site taking a long gaze at the destruction developers are reaping on our wonderful Peninsula, I could see, out of the corner of my eye one of the developers representative giving me a long hard look.

 We are all aware of the benefits of trees, for oxygenation and drainage, but trees such as the Damson is a food plant for not only humans, but a large number of butterflies and moths, its flowers attract many pollinating insects. The fruit is also a food source for birds and mammals.

Goat Willow, also known as the pussy willow, is the main food plant for the Purple Emperor butterfly. Its catkins provide an important early source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects, and birds use goat willow to forage for caterpillars and insects.

Hawthorn, is much loved by insects and invertebrates and nesting birds. At one it was thought that if you burned elder wood you would see the devil!  Many residents of the Peninsula believe we know that devil! Elder is also known as the ‘Judas tree’. Judas Iscariot is said to have hung himself from an Elder tree. The removal and destruction of these or any trees flies in the face of Medway Council’s climate emergency .

National Planning Policy Framework 2019 states that planning decisions should enhance the natural and local environment. Medway Local Plan 2003 states developments should seek to retain trees, woodland and hedgerows. Councils should make the most of natural resources, but this apparently doesn’t apply on the Peninsula.

The HIF Project will destroy not only fabulous grade one agricultural land and hedgerows, but trees and wildlife habitats and those natural outdoor spaces that have such a restorative effect on peoples health and well-being. Our Hoo Peninsula for which we are the latest custodians must be protected, we cannot allow this project to be railroaded through on a nod and a wink at Gun Wharf.

So I ask you to join me and demand that Medway Council leave our Peninsula greener in the long term than it is today. Rich in wildlife, a place where people and nature are better connected, a place where children can benefit from green spaces to explore, to learn and to play much  like I was lucky enough to do as a boy!

There is a campaign to save Deangate, a ready made country park, from a spur road being driven through it and to open it up for development.If you haven’t yet signed the petition or you have friends and family that haven’t please add your weight. The Peninsula needs your support.


Save Deangate Petition


Save Deangate Petition

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Consider this, our Local Authority buys a parcel of land in 1972 to build a golf course to further the health and well being of its residents. Since 1972 the course and club house facilities become a much loved hub for not only golf but social interaction and well being for local people. 

In 2008 the Local Authority begins a decade of golf course and amenity improvement promising a world class facility we can all be proud of. The improvements are to be self funded by allowing millions of tons of soil from development to be dumped on the course’s driving range and existing par 3 course. 

During this decade of improvement,  the immensity and disruption of the project hits and the golf course loses revenue due to the temporary closure of the amenity (the driving range and par three course). It also stifles a vital introductory element of sport for the youth but it is all worth while as the community watches the improvements taking place from the comfort of the club house with its extensive views.

In 2018 and almost in the week the new facility is opened the Authority’s governing Cabinet suddenly announce its intention to close the whole facility on the grounds that it has consistently lost money over the previous 10 years. (It is important to note that many if not most of the Council’s recreational facilities are run at a loss and are poorly maintained, “Splashes” as an example has just (2021) been grant a 5M capital upgrade by the authority, no doubt needed due to lack of good maintenance over its lifetime).

After much public outcry and indignation and after the decision close  is “called in” to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee the Cabinet closes the facility. In an act of commiseration its leader announces a £50,000 study into the possibility of a sports centre to replace the loss. This hasn’t materialised to date. 

Local protest fails but is successful in convincing the Authority to register the whole of the site as an Asset of Community Value, a move normally taken by an authority against a third party (like a pub) when the owner closes a much loved and vital amenity in the pursuit of profit. This has resulted in the unique situation of a Local Authority registering an Asset of Community Value against itself as the owner.

Shorty after closure the Cabinet commission a £150,000 study to establish how much the site it is worth in terms of development and now in 2021 the authority propose building a road way through the site and announce the concept of “Parkland living at Deangate”, all in the name of ‘New Routes to Good Growth.’

Saving Deangate is not a local issue. No community in this country would quietly stand by whilst its local authority disregards the health and well being of the community it serves, however small.

Please take this opportunity to have your say and sign the SAVE DEANGATE PETITION.

Save Deangate Petition

Deangate Betrayal

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We all agree that the  recent history of the demise of Deangate Ridge Golf Club was the  betrayal of the trust residents placed in  Medway Council to do right by the people of the Medway and the Hoo Peninsula. The latest consultation on the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) application is further proof of that betrayal.

The consultation documents for the HIF are available on line 

The consultation seeks your comment and approval for plans to unlock  massive growth in Hoo and High Halstow.  These plans will herald  another 10,000/12000 homes and the obvious increase traffic that will bring.  Relief is planned by creating  additional access to Hoo via a spur road connecting the A289 Halsted Way to the Main Road roundabout and an additional roundabout some 500 yards further along Peninsula Way towards Bells Land just before the Windmill Public House. See map.

corrected map

Please not that the route shown here by Medway Council is not correct.  Lodge Hill lane roundabout should be on Lodge Hill Lane.   Medway say they didn’t correct the map to save confusion with a previously published map!!

The new spur road, from the new roundabout will cut directly North westwards into the golf course by the 7th tee, across the 6th green and down, what we came to known as, Cardiac Hill before leaving Deangate to connect with another new roundabout on Lodge hill Lane, onwards to Upchat roundabout and down to Higham road where it will connect to the A289 Halsted Way by a flyover and slip ways.

Those first reassuring  much protected views of Deangate seen as you leave Main Road roundabout to head out onto the peninsula will be lost forever. So why spoil this vista ? Why drive a new road through Deangate?  The HIF team at Medway will tell you ‘it’s to assist traffic flow”.  But we know in reality it’s about houses, lots of houses, described in another Medway publication “ Planning for Growth on the Hoo Peninsula “ as Parkland living at Deangate.


In 2018 we came together spontaneously to fight to save Deangate in numbers that far exceeded those that initially responded to the proposition of an airport. That fight failed but we got partial success in as much that  Medway Council  agreed that Deangate Ridge and its sports complex was and is an Asset of Community Value (defined by the localism act 1988). It would appear they are about to betray that trust too, only time will tell.

Some Medway Councillors see the Peninsula and Deangate Ridge in particular as the answer to satisfying Government housing targets. Some see it as protecting the Capstone valley against development, so much so that they have successfully blocked the sale of access land at Shakespeare Farm to the detriment of much needed Council funds. The right approach of course is to identify all of the land assets of Medway worth saving and making a strong enough argument to government for a reduced allocation of housing numbers. The Council’s NIMBY approach to this problem is to the detriment of the most ecologically important asset they sadly control. Medway Council are now hell bent on the destruction of Deangate on the altar of the Capstone Valley and the seeming wrath of their constituents and continue to not listen to voice of reason. In the meantime the health and well being of the community of the Peninsula is neglected and Deangate is in part a Norse transport depot.

Now whilst proposing a road through Deangate to facilitate housing targets the Council refuse development in Lordswood /Capstone and publicly complain that 2000 houses in Lidsing would swamp Medway Hospital. Do they not realising 12000 houses on the Hoo Peninsula would exacerbate the problem to much greater degree.

The battle to protect our Peninsula is here now and it’s starts with saving Deangate. I urge you to once again let your voice be heard, Deangate is at the heart of the Peninsula and a ready made country park. The car park is there. The education block is there. There is even a golf driving range as a source of income.  Maybe with the assistance of  the Parish Councils and the help of us all we can build a Peninsula Heritage Centre/Museum to celebrate the rich heritage history and ecology of this wonderful Hoo Peninsula.

Cllr Ron Sands

Hoo stop line recognised

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John F. Kennedy once said “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” That certainly applies to Hoo resident Ted Smith.

Ted, an active member of the Hoo Neighbourhood Plan team and a founder member of Hoo Stop Line Heritage Trail group has worked tirelessly to save four Second World War pillboxes and a roadblock, all part of the Hoo stop Line.  This culminated in an application to add this defensive structures to the list of buildings of Special Architectural Interest.

Ted said, ” One small victory in our fight to preserve Hoo Peninsula.  After fifteen months I have managed to secure Grade 2 listing for a group of WW2 pillboxes and road barrier plinths. With the continuing development spreading along Stoke Road, Hoo, I felt it was important to protect these first. I hope there are others who feel like taking up the cudgel to protect a lot more of the peninsula assets. This is part of the message I have received from Historic England:-

Dear Ted, Thank you for your response. Your proposal for the re-excavation of the anti-tank ditch as a SuDS measure is very interesting and would certainly add to the physical context of the pillboxes if adopted.
I will let you know the DCMS’s decision regarding the listing case in due course.”……..
………”Group of four Second World War pillboxes and a roadblock (section of the Hoo Stop Line), Hoo St Werburgh – grant Listed Building Status.
Following your application to add the above World War II defensive structures to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, we have now considered all the representations made and completed our assessment of the building. I am pleased to inform you that having considered our recommendation, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has decided to add the group of four Second World War pillboxes and a roadblock (section of the Hoo Stop Line), Hoo St Werburgh to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. The structures are now listed at Grade II.”

Peninsula Access – Lack of Action

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  • Further investigations after the tragic fatal accident that cost Mr Brian Durden his life on Monday 26th October at Four Elms Hill highlights  the procrastination and complete lack of  action by Medway Council over the problem of our only and unsustainable route on and off of the Peninsula.

    At a Medway Rural Liaison Committee in December 2015 requested by High Halstow Parish Council regarding the installation of speed cameras and a contingency plan for traffic when accidents or blockages occur on the Peninsula section of A228, Medway’s principal engineer confirmed he would be submitting an initial plan to the relevant portfolio holder on the 4th December 2015. He also confirmed he would clarify figures relating to fatalities on this section of the road.

    Fast forward to March 2017, again in response to a request from High Halstow Parish Council, a report setting out the current status of the A228 Hoo Peninsula Route Diversion Strategy was received. It was explained that the A228 was the primary route to the Hoo Peninsula and that beyond Stoke it was the only route to the Isle of Grain. Historically, there had been numerous occasions when the A228 had been closed to deal with incidents/accidents  where it was necessary to create a diversion around the incident despite a very limited number of alternative routes . Whilst it was recognised that the availability of suitable diversion routes on the Peninsula was limited, a Diversion Route Strategy had been drawn up providing positive signage to try to manage traffic flows. This had been as a result of the original consultation with Ward and Parish Council Members in 2015.

    Cost estimates had been obtained for the production and erection of new signage, but the roll out of strategy had not progressed beyond the 2015/16 financial year due to funding availability. Given the length of time that had now passed, it was considered that the strategy and associated signage recommendations required updating. In addition, the suitability of the old carriageway.

    Fast forwarding again to March 2019…
    A228 DIVERSION ROUTES Discussion:
    The Committee received a detailed report setting out proposals for implementing traffic diversion routes in the event of accidents or incidents on the A228 between Four Elms Hill Roundabout and Grain. It was noted that the A228 was the only ‘A’ road linking the centre of Medway to its northern areas including Hoo, the Isle of Grain, Upper and Lower Stoke and Allhallows and that the only nominated diversion route currently in place used the Ratcliffe Highway, which ran parallel with the A228 between the junctions of Main Road Hoo and Bells Lane. The diversion came into effect when the parallel section of the A228 was closed. There were currently no other formal diversion routes in place along this section of the A228 which meant that when an accident or incident occurred, traffic either diverted onto unsuitable roads or waited for the carriageway to re-open causing congestion and delays.

    The Head of Integrated Transport informed the Committee that officers had divided the A228 into sections and identified a number of diversion routes that could be implemented when incidents occurred on the A228, details of which were set out in the report and highlighted on maps attached to the report as appendices. The proposed diversion routes had been prepared over a number of years and had previously been the subject of consultation with Parish Councils in 2016 and 2017.

    Whilst the provision of diversion routes was not a legal requirement, the implementation of the diversion routes along with appropriate signing would cost in the region of £20,000 and the outcomes of the scheme would align with the Council’s Local Transport Plan priorities and could therefore be funded by monies received from Central Government. Subject to the comments of the Committee, officers proposed to place the scheme before the Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services for approval.

    The Committee discussed the report, and the Parish Council representatives made the following observations:

  • A number of the routes selected are not suitable for HGV’s.
  • Reliance on satellite navigation and how this could be prevented when a diversion is in place.
  • Whether a holding area for HGV lorries was still in place on the Peninsula.
  • There was a need to communicate to the local farmer and publican in Cooling when a diversion was in place or there were emergency closures as both businesses attract the majority of traffic going through the village. Action could then be taken to notify the drivers of large vehicles that would be visiting their premises.

In response to concerns regarding use of the diversion routes by HGV’s, the Head of Integrated Transport advised that in recognition of this issue, sections of the diversion routes would be made one way only. In addition, he confirmed that on some roads weight restrictions were in place. He confirmed that Operation Overflow was still in place if this was needed and he agreed to discuss with staff within his team the need for improved communication with businesses in Cooling when there were to be diversions or road closures. The Head of Integrated Transport confirmed that the proposed diversion signage would be permanently in place but would clearly indicate that it was only relevant when a road closure was in place.

These comments are from official Council minutes of Rural Liaison Committee:
So, we have to ask WHY are residents still losing their lives? WHY are our ‘B’ roads gridlocked? WHY do Kent Police stand by and watch HGVs use a totally unsuitable country lane causing gridlock? Could it be that Medway Council have put a price on the lives of Peninsula residents? Do they consider speed cameras, which costs on average £100k a mile for average speed cameras, so a cost of £400k from Four Elms roundabout to High Halstow completed linked system? £400k after the millions and millions they are making from developments on the peninsula. £400k is that too much to prevent yet another family feeling the crushing pain of losing a loved one?

 Medway tunnel has speed cameras, Frindsbury Hill has speed cameras, but there are no speed reduction cameras on Peninsula Way. It seems that they really do treat us as second-class citizens on the Peninsula, and so in memory of Brian Durden and all of the others maimed or killed on the altar of ‘cost saving’ on our one and only road on and off the Peninsula, we must come together and demand safer roads and better protection for both pedestrians and vehicles. The A228 Peninsula way is unsustainable now and certainly cannot sustain 12000 new homes for the future Make your voice heard here by commenting.

Sadly another Fatality on Peninsula Way.

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I write to offer prayers and sympathy after the tragic death of a Chattenden man at Four Elms Hill, another death on a road that Medway Council readily admit is at its capacity.

It is important to remember that we the residents of the Hoo Peninsula have constantly echoed our feelings that the A228 is simply not designed to accommodate the amount of traffic now using it and simply how dangerous the road is becoming each day. With further commercial expansion at Kingsnorth and Grain, and with Medway Council’s plan to ‘unlock the potential of the peninsula’ by building another possible 12,000 houses and with very little positive information on infrastructure to accommodate such plans.

How many times will residents be cut off using the main road to the peninsula in times of an emergency?

Too often will the police stand by and let HGVs attempt a small B-road through Cooling and High Halstow, blocking it at a time thousands of people are attempting to get home, resulting in people spending hours in their cars, some with your babies and children, some being senior citizens, some even being forced to walk home or sleep in their cars.

How are emergency vehicles meant to cope with this gridlock? Babies won’t wait for a traffic free night to be born. Heart attacks and other serious illnesses can happen at any time. Experience has shown many times that the Peninsula becomes parallelised when incidents happen on our one and only road. Why after years of promises  is there no protocol to inform large distribution companies on the peninsula to delay HGVs leaving depot? Why no signage warning HGVs no access to the Peninsula before they try to come on through unaccommodating roads? Do we need more or better enforcement of the speed limit on Peninsula way?

I have asked for a meeting with Kent Police to make sure they understand how isolated residents feel when our main road is blocked, and when lorries gridlock the only other option, the B-road at Cooling. Is it time for width and weight restrictions on that B-road? What if any protocol is in place for emergency services to access and leave the Peninsula when the main roads are blocked due to an emergency? I will spend today and the next couple of days trying to get answers to these questions. Not least why Medway will not divulge plans for improvements.


Hoo Peninsula AONB

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So, the first shots in the battle to have our Hoo Peninsula recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) by way of my motion to Medway Council was defeated despite fabulous support from Medway Labour Group with wonderful statements from Cllr Vince Maple (Labour leader) and Cllr. Simon Curry, and support from Cllr Mick Pendergast our other Peninsula independent Cllr. The  conservative group voted against the motion, but as I said, just the first shots in our battle.

I have also been working hard on a ‘Peninsula Planning Forum‘ to bring a combined discussion to planning and associated matters that affect us all on the Hoo Peninsula Bringing together Parish Councils and Peninsula stake holder groups to respond to Planning applications in a professional way will mean a collective united voice and begin to give rural residents a real voice. In this time of the seeming overwhelming changes to our villages, I believe we would be stronger and more confident with one voice.

The primary aims of the Peninsula Planning Forum are to provide:

A united response to planning applications that affect the Hoo Peninsula.

A vision for the principles of land use on the Hoo Peninsula 

Analysis of proposed Medway Council Planning Policy for these areas.

Recommendations for sustainable growth  informed by environmental, social and economic drivers.

I have written to Stake holders and  Parish councillors to ask for their views and support.  It is even more important during this Covid emergency and with the restrictions it brings, that a connection and on-going interaction and debate is continued, albeit virtually.

With the approaching Remembrance Sunday when we fall silent in tribute to the fallen of the two world wars and other conflicts, can I gently and respectfully remind all to wear a poppy with pride and give what you can to the British Legion Appeal in memory of those who gave all.

Whilst we remember the fallen, just take a minute or two to also think about those wounded in the service of our country, be it physically or mentally, and for the sacrifices they made that allow us the freedom that we all enjoy.

Ron Sands