11 December 2016
We welcome the idea of a widened pavement outside Tonbridge Station and agree that this is overcrowded at present.
We also welcome the idea of the new pedestrian crossings which will make the streets safer.
However, we do not agree with the proposal to move the bus stop onto the main carriageway. We think this will create a backlog of traffic, as in the main High Street northbound.
We also think that it would be very dangerous for cyclists. The new cycle-route along the A26 between Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge would continue along this part of the High Street, and it would be safer and uninterrupted if the buses could be in a proper lay-by.
It would be unsafe for cyclists to have to pull out around buses on the carriageway. It would be unsafe for people getting on and off buses for cyclists to pass on the inside of stationary buses. It may be possible to extend the existing lay-by so as to accommodate three buses by moving some street furniture (two telephone boxes and cycle racks). This could only be done by giving up the idea of widening the pavement outside Lidl. We think it more important to keep the bus stop off the carriageway than to widen the pavement at this point. It is also important to provide an alternative place for buses to rest or park which is not in the bus stop. Currently there are often several buses, plus rail replacement buses, parked up by the station and in the stop outside Lidl, which adds to the congestion and pollution. Ultimately the town needs a dedicated public transport hub.
If KCC wants to improve air quality and reduce congestion, it is important to make cycling safe and public transport an attractive option.
The Improving access to Tonbridge Station consultation ran from 31st October to 11th December 2016
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