Transport in Maidstone
Roads radiate from Maidstone, with the A20 linking to Sevenoaks and Ashford, the A229 connecting with the Medway towns and Hastings, the A26 going to Tonbridge and the A274 and to Tenterden. The M20 motorway runs immediately north of the town, with the M2 just a couple of miles further north. The A20, originally opened in 1960 as the Maidstone Bypass, A20(M), was the first motorway standard road to be built south of London.
Bus transport in Maidstone is provided by Arriva Southern Counties and Nu-Venture transport companies, with bus services are focussed around High Street, King Street and the Chequers Bus Station adjacent to the Mall shopping centre.
The historic town centre is largely pedestrianised or of restricted access to private vehicles.
Despite being the county town, neither of Maidstone’s two railway routes are principal ones. The two major stations are Maidstone East (the more northerly of the two, which connects with London and Ashford) and Maidstone West (on the Medway Valley Line). The latter is visible from the town’s other station, Maidstone Barracks, on the same line.
Prior to the railways and improved roads, the River Medway was one of the primary means of transporting merchandise to and from Maidstone. Today, however, the river is mostly enjoyed by pleasure-boat owners and the many houseboat residents.
Two long-distance footpaths are easily accessible from Maidstone: the Medway Valley Walk between Tonbridge and Gillingham follows the banks of the river through the town, while the North Downs Way runs for 246km (153 miles) between Farnham, Surrey and Dover, passing about eight km (five miles) to the north and west of Maidstone.