Agenda item

Tonbridge Station and High Street Improvements

The report of the Kent County Council provides an update on the progress made on the Tonbridge Station project and outlines additional measures to improve the traffic system.


The report of the Kent County Council Principal Transport Planner provided an update on the progress being made on the Tonbridge Station improvements.  Additional measures to improve the traffic system in the High Street were also outlined.


Particular reference was made to proposals to install yellow box markings in the junction to deter drivers from entering without a clear exit.  It was hoped that this action would improve the traffic flow and address concerns raised by drivers and pedestrians. 


Other measures proposed included the installation of additional pedestrian display heads higher up poles to improve visibility and the installation of a new pole on the corner of Waterloo Road.  Installation dates for these improvements were yet to be finalised, although it was hoped this could be progressed within the next week.


To illustrate the concerns raised by residents and to provide context for the proposals outlined in the report, the Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste at Kent County Council (Michael Payne) presented a number of photographs showing the road layout and the new puffin crossing.   Positive improvements welcomed by Members included the addition of a cycle path, taxi ranks, security bollards and a drop off point in front of the station. 


There were also plans to improve the traffic flow past bus stop G by widening the carriageway and installing a bus layby to allow vehicles to pass stationary buses.  It was anticipated that this work would be undertaken during the summer months.


Finally, County Councillor Payne was pleased to report that Southeastern had committed to providing a cycle hub in Barden Road.  There had been reassurances that this project would be delivered irrespective of who held the railway franchise. 


The following concerns, comments and points were raised, discussed and noted:


-        Poor visibility of traffic lights for cyclists using the cycle lane near the station. 

-        The additional pedestrian display heads placed higher up poles to improve visibility would be facing pedestrians. 

-        Similar issues with pedestrian crossings at Bordyke.

-        The sloped camber of the pavement along certain parts of the High Street made it difficult for those with mobility issues.  However, it was reported that this configuration assisted with drainage of surface water.

-        The possibility of adding audible signals to the puffin crossing would be pursed.

-        The junction at Station Approach was recognised as difficult and measures would be considered as part of new cycle hub.

-        The raised table area along the High Street provided an additional crossing area and another pedestrian crossing would have implications for traffic flow.

-        Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council were actively pursuing the leaseholder (Network Rail) of the units in Station Approach in an effort to improve the appearance leading into the High Street.

-        Since the installation of the new traffic lights there had been increased congestion along Vale Road.

-        Improved signage and promotion of Tonbridge along the A21 to encourage visitors.


All of these points were noted by the County Councillors for Tonbridge (Richard Long and Michael Payne) and these would be raised with officers at Kent County Council. 

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