Canal Road, Strood, reopened yesterday (04/11/19) after being closed since May. The road closure (which cut off usual access to The Riverside Tavern) was never intended to last this long, even with the unforeseen gas utilities works which delayed the project.
The real reason for the lengthy closure is at some considerable cost to local council taxpayers.
Medway Council’s Conservative administration have, in creating New Station Approach, built the Road to Nowhere.
The road’s sole function is to link Canal Road to Strood Station’s forecourt, but the impressive and expensive road grinds to a halt one metre away from Strood Station’s fence, meaning access remains via Old Station approach.
This is a result of Medway Council’s failure to speak to the right department at Network Rail, who only became aware of the council’s intentions after the work began.
Cllr Stephen Hubbard Medway Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Strood North said, “My residents living in this part of Strood have suffered enough; future re-working of Strood Waterfront will create even more dust, noise, and vibrations for residents to endure.
“The inability to link New Station Approach into Strood Station’s forecourt means the council have failed to adhere to their own planning permission. The extent of their incompetence would be laughable if fixing this mistake wasn’t going to cost council tax payers more money.
“The road in question was only just dug up and resurfaced because the ramp was improperly positioned, meaning additional cost, but the road is completely useless.
“We are rightfully celebrating the council’s successful HIF Bid, which will bring Medway funding for the infrastructure we desperately need, but I despair at the very real possibility that this money will be squandered on costly mistakes like this ‘road to nowhere’.
“In early October on behalf of residents living in Canal Rd/Kingswear Gardens, I formally reported to the Planning Department that Medway Council, as the developer, is not undertaking the planning permission in accordance with their own approved conditions. I felt it was appropriate for the matter to be deferred to the planning committee for determination. I sincerely hope that the council can resolve this issue with as little additional burden upon the residents of Strood and the taxpayers of Medway.”
Planning permission is question is specification MC/17/1173. Condition 2 of the permission refers to the approved plan 2016S4920-JBA-00-02-DR-C-2001 Rev E. That drawing shows the removal of Old Station Approach to be replaced with development site Block B (see Fig 3).