- Report of Kent Highway Services attached
- County Councillor Michael Payne to provide a verbal update
The report of the Kent County Council Transport Innovations Programme Manager provided an update on the progress being made on the Tonbridge Station improvements. Although the main works had been completed the scheme would continue to be monitored and adjustments made as required.
The Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste at Kent County Council (Michael Payne) reminded Members that pedestrian safety was a key objective of the project and that access and egress to the station had been greatly improved as a result. County Councillor Payne was pleased to report that buses and taxis appeared to have integrated into the scheme successfully and the ‘kiss and drop’ layby was a welcome inclusion.
A need for audible indicators on the lights had been identified and it was proposed that these were operational during the day time only to avoid disturbing local residents at night. Yellow box markings at the traffic signals had been completed and high level green men installed at all crossings. It was hoped that these measures would improve pedestrian safety.
In addition a stage 3 road safety audit would be undertaken to highlight any outstanding areas of concern that needed to be addressed. Once complete, a final walk through would be carried out with the contractor to record any construction defects that might have arisen. It was noted that the contractor was obliged to rectify any issues for up to a year after completion.
Particular reference was made to Bus Stop G in the High Street and that this would be moved two-thirds off the carriageway to improve the road width and traffic flow. This work would be progressed during the summer months.
The following concerns, comments and points were raised, discussed and noted:
- Taxi drivers allowing engines to idle at certain points in the town. This was a particular concern due to the effects of pollution on children. The Chairman committed to passing this concern to the Head of Licensing, Community Safety and Customer Services for addressing.
- A request for pollution levels to be monitoring during the works to Bus Stop G when a one way traffic flow would be in place.
- Air Quality Monitoring was raised as a general concern and the request for monitoring in the High Street was repeated. The Chairman indicated that these issues were discussed regularly at the Street Scene and Environment Services Advisory Board.
- Monitoring of traffic congestion at Vale Road and the High Street were also suggested.
- The necessity for the second set of lights by the Waterloo Road crossing had been tested.
- The appearance of Station Approach continued to be a cause of concern. However, the Chairman advised that he had recently met with the Senior Director for Regeneration at Network Rail to discuss their investment in stations. It was hoped that improvements at Tonbridge, Hildenborough and Borough Green stations would be considered as a result of these discussions.
All of these points were noted by the County Councillor for Tonbridge (Michael Payne); the Chairman (in his role as Leader of the Borough Council) and the Chief Executive and these would be raised with relevant officers at Kent County Council and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.