‘Terrorism gates’ installed in Week Street, Maidstone

0

Councilors have been left baffled by the installation of ‘anti-terrorist’ gates in Maidstone town centre.

Barriers, used to prevent vehicles from injuring people or crashing into buildings, are commonly seen around high-rise buildings and plazas in city centers.

The newly installed gates to Earl Street
The newly installed gates to Week Street
The newly installed gates to Week Street

But they are now located at the junction of Week Street with Station Road, Earl Street and Gabriels Hill.

Maidstone Central County Councilor Tom Cannon, (Con), said: ‘Communication from council staff with elected members on this matter has been very poor.

“Having dug this since, it was an operational decision led by an officer from Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) and Kent County Council that was paid for by MBC.

“I am concerned about the cost of these gates and also question the need for them in Maidstone.

Cllr Tom Cannon, worried about where the money is being spent
Cllr Tom Cannon, worried about where the money is being spent

“It seems like a stretch and so far I haven’t been convinced.

“Obviously, protecting businesses and pedestrians is important, but the precautionary principle can sometimes lead to costly and frankly useless decisions.

“We should have been consulted and had a report on the facts before these were settled.

‘I repeatedly try to get funds for road improvements in the town and I am regularly told that it is not available, these gates should have been a councilor’s decision after an assessment of the facts.’

Cllr Stuart Jeffery (Green), who represents the Bridge district on MBC, said: “They look a bit excessive for Week Street, if they’re there for terrorism – I can’t imagine exactly how much terrorism we would have at Maidstone.

Cllr Stuart Jeffery Green Party Activist
Cllr Stuart Jeffery Green Party Activist
The barriers were installed to prevent unauthorized vehicles from crossing the pedestrian streets.  Photo: Google Street View
The barriers were installed to prevent unauthorized vehicles from crossing the pedestrian streets. Photo: Google Street View

“It’s not exactly a target I wouldn’t have thought of, I really wonder why we have them.”

“We have some serious big priorities in Maidstone with people needing food and being able to heat their homes.

“Reducing people’s energy costs is a top priority right now, I don’t want to see money spent elsewhere unless absolutely necessary.”

Fridge Engineer Max Vivian, 21 years old
Fridge Engineer Max Vivian, 21 years old

There were mixed feelings about the gates in the streets of Maidstone.

County Town refrigeration engineer Max Vivian, 21, said: ‘I think that’s a good thing, it means people won’t be able to drive there (Week Street) as fast.

Full-time student Ben Hilditch, 20, also from Maidstone, said: “They really came out of nowhere, I don’t really see the point of them being here.”

The heavy-duty gates, which were permanently installed on May 9, were first tested during the Covid-19 lockdown to prevent delivery vehicles from accidentally using high streets and hampering distancing efforts social.

They can also be used to protect against criminal raids, MBC was approached for a comment on the cost of the doors.

Share.

Comments are closed.