DRAFT PRESS RELEASE
- TW FOE -
Access to Hastings Multi-Modal Study
Contact: Andrew Lohmann 01892 xxxxx or 01892 xxxxx.
The Access to Hastings Multi-Modal Study is the first to involve ordinary people in the evaluation processes. The study recognises that high level of car dependency contribute to environmental and safety problems in this area. The study recognise disparity in perceptions and actualities. It is disappointing that the study has not been as Multi-modal as we may have wished.
We don’t think the effect of additional traffic has been mitigated, or potential for expansion of access to Tunbridge Wells by rail that is a feature of the town. The possibility of re-opening the line to Lewes, and rail freight sidings at Longfield Road, and restoring dual track working to Hastings, has not been explored. The report acknowledges that accident rate at Castle Hill is equivalent to the national average for the road type. The study compares an on-line with off-line road scheme and predicts that the former would better in this respect, but does not compare with the road as it is. No noticeable short term traffic reductions on the A26, and no long term local benefit. Presumably we can expect more vehicle traffic to reduce Air quality and road safety in Sherwood, Longfield Road and High Brooms, for example. How will Cyclists and Pedestrians cross the A21 at the Longfield Road?
The study does not rate this problem, though hospital employees cycle across this junction. A wider road would exasperate severance of the two public footpaths at the Stud Farm and near the petrol station. We don’t know how this will be addressed? Particular note is made of the adverse effect to the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty form much of the length of the A21 studied. Though a environmental study has not been carried out on the proposals in the study, Castle Hill is designated Metropolitan Green Belt, Kent Special Landscape Area, Special Nature Conservancy Interest, and Tuddley Wood RSPB nature reserve. There is also Hill Fort (scheduled ancient monument). Building in the north Tunbridge Wells will follow result in loss to more of the natural environment.