Agenda and minutes

Joint Transportation Board - Monday, 16th April, 2018 6.00 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS

Contact: Mark O'Callaghan  Democratic Services Officer

Note: Please note that the report in respect of agenda item 8 has been withdrawn. 

No. Item



Apologies for absence as reported at the meeting.


There were no apologies.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest by Members in items on the agenda. For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer before the meeting.


Councillor Simmons advised that he had been involved in arranging a meeting with residents regarding the A26 cycle route.


There were no disclosable pecuniary or significant other interests declared at the meeting.


Notification of Visiting Members wishing to speak

Members should indicate which item(s) they wish to speak on and the nature of their comments no later than 4pm on the working day before the meeting in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 18.


There were no Visiting Members.


The Chairman noted that nine members of the public had registered to speak.


Minutes of the meeting dated 15 January 2018 pdf icon PDF 245 KB

The Chairman will move that the minutes be signed as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.


Members reviewed the minutes. No amendments were proposed.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting dated 15 January 2018 be approved as a correct record.


Tunbridge Wells Tracker for April 2018 pdf icon PDF 150 KB


The Board considered the Tracker. Comments were made in respect of the items as follows:


Tracker Item 1 – A26 Cycle Route

Pam Barnes, resident of Southborough, had registered to speak and commented that whilst she was generally supportive of active travel, the particular proposals were unsafe. Experienced cyclists had warned her of the dangers of vehicles exiting the many concealed driveways along the route. Narrowing the carriageway would decrease safety for cyclists. Progress for cyclists would be slowed by the need to stop safely before each driveway. Egress from many of the existing driveways was already hazardous and an additional separate flow of traffic would increase the risk further. The cycle path would impede pedestrians who may not be able to hear bells or other warnings due to the noise of the heavy traffic. Previous attempts to provide a cycle path failed on safety grounds and the circumstances had not changed.


Margaret Borland, resident of Southborough, had registered to speak and commented that a lack of visibility around 18 adjoining driveways serving 28 homes was of serious concern. Owing to the high fences and hedges, vehicles exiting driveways would project more than two metres across the pavement before it was possible to see what may be coming. Less confident cyclists already rode on the pavement and tended to be travelling slowly, despite this there had been a number of near misses. Faster moving cyclists would be at higher risk. Cyclists travelling from Tonbridge would be heading downhill and likely to be going at speed, any attempt to emergency stop or swerve could put them into the path of heavy traffic. The plans looked reasonable but conditions on the ground made them very unsafe.


Scott Purchas, for Tunbridge Wells Bicycle Users Group, had registered to speak and commented that a change to more ambiguous language in relation to the cycle route had been noted despite the strong support offered by a public consultation and previous meetings of the JTB. Funding was available and Traffic Regulation Orders had been issued for phases one and three with work expected to commence in 2018. Whilst not perfect, the proposed scheme was an important step in enabling more people to cycle in more safety than at present. Tunbridge Wells was a congested town with a fixed road network, cycling was an opportunity to move vastly more people. Encouraging cycling would reduce the number of cars and make necessary journeys easier, provide capacity for future growth, tackle health problems and reduce pollution. The A26 cycle route was critical to the Cycling Strategy.


Lisa Gillham, Tunbridge Wells District Manager, KCC, thanked the speakers and advised that comments would be fed back to the KCC Cabinet Committee due to decide whether to proceed on 13 July 2018.


Councillor Simmons commented that previous support had omitted this section of the route pending a solution to the safety concerns. The proposals were not the right solution. He was familiar with the conditions as he lived locally and there were  ...  view the full minutes text for item TB48/17


Waiting Restrictions: Royal Tunbridge Wells and Pembury pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Additional documents:


Nick Baldwin, former Senior Traffic Engineer, TWBC, introduced the report and explained that part of the report provided a follow up on a previous report regarding concerns about King George V Hill. The revised proposals satisfied all parties, were necessary on road safety grounds and involved the loss of only three parking spaces. Other proposed restrictions set out in the report received no objections.


County Councillor Barrington-King welcomed the approach of finding a mutually acceptable solution with the residents.


RESOLVED – That the Board endorsed the introduction of new and amended restrictions as proposed by the draft Traffic Regulation Order and summarised in the report.


Waiting Restrictions: Whybourne Crest, RTW pdf icon PDF 169 KB


Sarah Richmond, resident of Royal Tunbridge Wells, had registered to speak and commented that she had distributed detailed feedback to members before the meeting. She explained that the proposals were intended for the benefit of residents, rather than on safety grounds, in response to the increased number of employees based at AXA in Hawkenbury. Despite good intentions the proposals did not meet with the satisfaction of the residents and may be counterproductive. The proposals were being made on the basis of an erroneous consultation as residents had not been fully advised of the proposals and there had not been full disclosure of the available options on which the residents could give an informed response.


Kathy Freeman, resident of Royal Tunbridge Wells, had registered to speak and commented that a letter received from Parking Services on 13 October 2016 stated that no action was proposed for Whybourne Crest, despite this yellow lines had been installed without notice. The proposal to introduce a limited number of parking bays would cause friction in the community and be unfair. The majority of residents were against the proposal. Signed-only restrictions were already in place in some roads in the area; this would be fairer for the residents and would be consistent with the general scheme in Hawkenbury. If signed-only restrictions were installed there would be no immediate need for an amendment to the start time of the restrictions but residents would appreciate the opportunity to review this after the new school had opened.


Glenn McAuliffe, resident of Royal Tunbridge Wells, had registered to speak and commented that the proposals were not supported by the majority of residents and would cause problems. A lack of information may have lead to misinformed responses to the original consultation. The report oversimplified the issues and whilst most houses had off-street parking the space was limited and the restrictions would prevent deliveries and visitors from parking in the street, particularly affecting the high number of retired or homeworking people. Signed-only restrictions were in use in neighbouring areas and appeared to be effective. A recent survey of residents highlighted overwhelming support for signed-only permit parking.


County Councillor Rankin was concerned that the consultation should produce a different result to the views expressed and felt that the restrictions should not go forward without the support of the residents. She added that Whybourne Crest was a distinctive area which would be ruined by yellow lines and a less intrusive scheme which enjoyed the support of residents would be welcomed.


County Councillor Oakford noted members had a duty to represent the views of residents and there was clearly little support for the proposals, a mutually agreeable alternative should be found.


County Councillor Hamilton concurred and added that the local residents should be listened to.


Councillor Backhouse concurred and added that yellow lines should be used sparingly in residential areas so as to not prevent genuine visitors from parking.


Councillor Lidstone sought to clarify when restrictions were due to take effect.


Nick Baldwin,  ...  view the full minutes text for item TB50/17


Waiting Restrictions: Cranbrook and Hawkhurst pdf icon PDF 93 KB


County Councillor Barrington-King noted that the item had been withdrawn pending consideration of alternative proposals.


Jane Fineman, Head of Finance and Procurement, TWBC, explained that since the report had been published representations had been received and it had been agreed to look again at the proposals. There were concerns that stark yellow lines through Cranbrook, being a conservation area, were inappropriate. Alternatives including a restricted parking zone or primrose lines would be investigated. A blanket parking zone had not been used outside Royal Tunbridge Wells town centre but this could be trialled with an Experimental Traffic Order in Cranbrook. This would be more expensive and a budget would need to be found. If successful the model could be used in Hawkhurst.


County Councillor Holden noted that Cranbrook had the second highest number of listed buildings in Kent including several examples from the 14th Century; this made it a unique place. Current lines were worn out and were not intrusive but new lines would not be appropriate. Primrose coloured ‘heritage’ lines were an option or a parking zone had been suggested. The difference in the cost of the two options was not significant and he hoped the Parish Council would be given a voice on the matter. He would be prepared to contribute part of his Members’ Grant towards the project and added that further savings could be made by blacking out the old lines rather than removing them.


County Councillor Barrington-King welcomed the approach.


Highway Works Programme pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:


Lisa Gillham, Tunbridge Wells District Manager, KCC, advised that there were no further updates and invited questions.


County Councillor Oakford highlighted that the traffic activated sign on Speldhurst Road had still not been connected to power one year after installation.


County Councillor Barrington-King noted that the installation of a handrail in Pembury had also taken one year but was now complete.


Councillor Woodward sought an update as to when Coach Road in Rusthall, marked for several months as having a temporary surface, would be completed. Ms Gillham believed there to have been a defect with the resurfacing and officers were awaiting the return of the contractors.


County Councillor Hamilton question why her contributions from the Members’ Grant were not listed at Appendix H. She added that urgent action was required at Horsmonden in response to a number of recent road traffic accidents, the issue had previously been raised and she hoped to expedite the due process. County Councillor Barrington-King noted that the Leader of Kent County Council had expressed his wish that action be taken in this matter.


County Councillor Hamilton commented that many problems, including those at Horsmonden, were as a result of HGVs following sav-navs designed for cars and she asked how authorities could influence the routing of sat-navs. County Councillor Barrington-King suggested that the exploration from County Councillor Holden’s work on HGV routing may yield useful information.


County Councillor Oakford noted that HGV sav-navs were considerably more expensive so foreign lorry drivers bought the cheap one and followed wherever it sent them. He added that the Leader of Kent County Council had instructed the Cabinet Member for Highways to take immediate action at Horsmonden.


Councillor Simmons asked whether the materials used for the drain covers on the A26, which appeared to have been marked for repair following nearby resurfacing, were up to standard and what could be done to ensure work was completed properly first time. Ms Gillham advised that the contractors were required to return at their own expense which would their affect their profitability and ability to move on to other work.


Councillor Lidstone noted a paucity of road repairs set out at Appendix A and questioned whether full resurfacing would be more cost effective. Ms Gillham commented that resurfacing would be preferred. She added that the list set out the initial schemes for the year given the new financial year’s budget. In addition, a separate budget was held for pot holes and reactive maintenance which would be scheduled in due course. County Councillor Barrington-King advised local members to discuss resurfacing requirements with the relevant county member so these could be fed into the system.


Carol Valentine, West Kent Highway Manager, KCC, advised that a more long term approach to asset management had been adopted and approved by Cabinet. This was separate from the money received from the government for pot holes which was ring-fenced for that purpose and formed a large part of the separate budget mentioned earlier.


County  ...  view the full minutes text for item TB52/17


Topics for Future Meetings

Prior notice of the topic must be sent to the Chairman and Democratic Services Officer no later than 4pm on the working day before the meeting. There can not be any substantial debate/discussion or any decision on any topics raised, but the agreement of the Board that the topic may come forward in future would be required.


The Chairman, County Councillor Barrington-King, confirmed that no items had been submitted in accordance with the procedure.


Date of Next Meeting

The date of the next scheduled meeting is Monday 16 July 2018 at 6.00pm.


County Councillor Barrington-King noted this was his last meeting in the chair and thanked members and officers for their positive contributions.


The next meeting of the Joint Transportation Board would be held on Monday 16 July 2018 commencing at 6pm.