NEWS ITEM. CORRECTION, REMINDER of PUBLIC MEETING and MORE INFORMATION.
* Note correction to previous release said the meeting was Monday but it is Tuesday. A public meeting “STOP THE ROAD” is to be held at 7:30 Tuesday 9 September 1997, Baden Powell Centenary Hall, Andrew Road, High Brooms, Tunbridge Wells. There will be maps objectors submissions and DoT traffic projection information available to brows at 7:30pm the meeting will start at about 8:00pm.
* The DoT’s projections of traffic used to justify the road shows doubling of traffic on Longfield Road and the Pembury Road. The A26 is the only road that traffic initial drops though increases later, this recognizes that traffic on this road is as high as users will tolerate. In other words they will do something else other than spend more time journeying but if journey time drops more traffic will fill the gap. What the figures don’t state is how quickly the traffic will rise to their previous level on the A26 if this section of new trunk road were to open, perhaps weeks or months? Surely anyone wanting to travel on the A26 won’t want to travel on the A21 however fast they can travel in the wrong direction.
* You may already know that large lorries of the company ASDA pass through Tunbridge Wells on the A26 occasionally. As our part-time M.P. Archie Norman is the boss of ASDA an interesting question to put to him would be, if a driver of a vehicle, perhaps a lorry were wishing to travel to a destination on the A26, would they reroute to the A21 particularly when the DoT project less traffic on the A26 when the truck road initially opens.
* Tunbridge Wells Borough Council one of the objectors to the proposed route at the public inquiry in 1993, were concerned that the width of the carriageway could cause an increase volumes of traffic on local road network specifically Longfield Road and Pembury Road. Traffic noise was another aspect that concerned the council.
* The council’s report at the time drew issue with a 240 metre cutting with steep embankments and embankment across two ghylls (as the T/W Friends of the Earth objection did). Would have detrimental impact on the landscape setting of Tunbridge Wells also says a significant change to the skyline within the ridge separating Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge which forms an enclosed setting to this part of the town. It goes on to mention the significant change the well defined character of this part of the High Weald area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and have detrimental impact on the views across the valley from the A26. The DoT’s evidence included other view points in Sherwood, High Brooms, and Tonbridge. (Southborough Town Council drew attention to the Local Plan and the Kent Structure Plan on this issue at the time) (see the Courier article by Victor Briggs of 16 November 1992)
* As far as I know the borough council have not rescinded their concerns and would presumably jump at a chance to have another lane put on the existing section of A21 instead.
Andrew Lohmann Southborough Town Councillor
xx, xxxxx Road,
Tel. 01892 xxxxx (home) or 01892 xxxxx (work)
FILE: p2meetng.doc 30 August, 1997