Update from Joint Transportation Board meeting – 17 July 2017
I attended the Joint Transportation Board meeting last night as the parking restrictions and speed limit were up for discussion.
The meeting was well attended and a number of people spoke about the parking permits and restrictions. The speed limit of 20mph for Hawkenbury and the wider Tunbridge Wells was also discussed.
Nick Baldwin, Senior Engineer for TWBC, gave his report to the council. His report was a summary of the one I published here last week. Once he had finished and public speakers had commented, the Councillors were able to ask questions.Of primary concern was the petition of 412 AXA employees. The petition was dismissed on the basis that AXA PPP were in support of the parking restrictions and had funded the consultation through a S106 contribution when they expanded International House.
The amendments to the scheme will be advertised again to inform everyone of the changes. Our local Kent and Borough councillor, Catherine Rankin, asked when the scheme was likely to be introduced. Nick Baldwin replied that the scheme was being delayed until the end of 2017. The reason for the delay was to prevent a knock-on effect with Banner Farm / Farmcombe Road, although it may be possible to implement some of the restrictions earlier.
Banner Farm / Farmcombe Road area are currently being consulted on regarding the expansion of Zone A to cover their area in the restrictions. Once this process is finished, then the council will be in a position to implement both the Hawkenbury Scheme and the Zone A expansion. This should prevent any knock-on effect when the Hawkenbury Scheme goes live.
As part of the monitoring scheme regarding the removal of ‘no waiting at any time’ along High Woods Lane, the speaker for the HAHA, Ms Janice Sturgess, suggested that the HAHA would provide allotment holders with ‘parking permits’, so that the council can identify allotment holders from other individuals.
Overall, the reaction to the restrictions was favourable. It was noted that the implementation in Hawkenbury is going to put pressure on other areas where there are no restrictions, as people still need to park in the area to get to work. The council will monitor this, but we need to strike a balance between employees and residents. Maryland Road and Forest Way could be affected and the parking area at the cricket pavilion could also see increased all day use.
The 20mph limit was quite a heated discussion with a number of speakers from the SpeedWatch campaign and the Town Forum. Overall, there was support for the 20mph zone, but that it should be extended to all residential streets across the town. This would make the whole town a safer place to walk and cycle.
KCC was criticised for its policy of only introducing a policy once there had been a fatality. The Council ran the risk of being legally liable if they did not do anything and someone was killed. Various councillors, including Catherine Rankin, asked the officers to revisit the 20mph limit for the whole town and the county.
KCC will pursue a policy of 20mph for Hawkenbury Road as part of the planning application for the school. We’ll keep campaigning for this and will keep you informed.