Agenda and minutes

Joint Transportation Board - Monday, 19th October, 2020 6.00 pm

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Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online. View directions

Contact: Caroline Britt  Democratic Services Officer


No. Item


Apologies pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

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Apologies were received from Councillors Lidstone, Woodward and Barrington-King.  Councillor Holden was not present.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 5 KB

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.

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


Notification of Visiting Members wishing to speak pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To note any members of the Council wishing to speak, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 18, and which items they wish to speak on.

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Councillor Morton  had registered to speak on Agenda Item 6 and Councillor Rutland had registered to speak on Agenda Item 7.


Minutes of the meeting dated 10 February 2020 pdf icon PDF 250 KB

To approve the minutes of a previous meeting as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

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Members reviewed the minutes.  No amendments were proposed.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting dated 10 February 2020 be approved as a correct record


Update Report pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To consider the proposals set out in the report.

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There were no comments.


Emergency Active Travel Fund Schemes Update pdf icon PDF 107 KB

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Adrian Berendt, Chair of the Town Forum had registered to speak:


“I am speaking on behalf of the Town Forum of which I am the Chair and I should like to start by congratulating the officers both at the Borough Council and KCC for their work on the Active Travel Fund Schemes.  They had many difficult decisions to make in a very, very short timeframe.  As a consequence we know that some of the design details were not brilliant and we also know that communication was lacking.  But overall I think they did a really good job. 


I had occasion to watch the KCC Cabinet meeting from last week and apart from one or two uninformed comments – (it occurs to me that if Councillors were commenting on traffic matters perhaps they ought to know their Highway Code).  Overall I was delighted with that meeting because there was a lot about consulting local people about the future schemes.


I have also read the Grant Shapps (MP) letter which says 3 things; one that it supports Active Travel in no uncertain terms.  It talks about doing Active Travel properly and it talks about consulting local people.  And the Town Forum, which is a strong supporter of Active Travel and has been for many years is willing and able to be consulted on the tranche 2 matters.  And probably more importantly on the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan which comes up in the next agenda item.  So congratulations to the officers.  I am glad there is going to be more and better consultation for future spending and the Town Forum is read and willing to take part.”


Philip Munslow from Tunbridge Wells Bicycle Users Group (TWBUG) had registered to speak:


“Good evening everyone and thank you for the opportunity to speak to you on the Emergency Active Travel Fund measures.


I am here on behalf on Tunbridge Wells Bicycle Users Group and whilst we echo what Adrian Berendt has just said we just want to encourage and urge Councillors and Council officers to continue to support the existing fund measures already installed and urge to you identify and implement opportunities for the next tranche of funding – tranche 2.


We still have the unique opportunity to make significant positive changes to our town all paid for by Central Government.  We all know there is an urgent need to take action and we need to make the most of this great opportunity.


Whilst our current focus is understandably dominated by Covid-19, all of the long standing issues in the background caused by our over reliance on cars, particularly those for short journeys still remain.  That is; congested roads, CO2 emissions, poor air quality, inactivity and sedentary lifestyles and the safety of those who chose to walk and cycle.


To solve these pressing issues, we have to redesign our street space.  By doing so, this will incentivise more cycling and walking and provide less incentive for people to pick up their car keys  ...  view the full minutes text for item TB6/20


Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To include a presentation by Phil Jones Associates. 

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Councillor Rutland had registered to speak:

“I am here to talk about the experimental road closure of York Road in connection with the public realm stage 2 scheme which is related to the Walking and Cycling Plan. I have a statement to read on behalf of Pippa Collard from the York Road Residents Association. I hope that members of this Joint Transportation Board will be able to not only take note, but please take action, since action is what residents of these streets were promised, most recently in February. 

A trial closure of York Road will promote cycling and walking plus help deliver the objectives of the new public realm. Those objectives are - and I quote from the Cabinet report of April 2018 - ‘a more pedestrian-focussed space’ ‘a community space’ ‘more active travel’ ‘to provide a more tranquil space to be enjoyed by residents and visitors’. A road closure that leads to a reduction in motor vehicles travelling through would be a positive thing. However, the effect of a York Road closure could see displacement of through traffic on to Dudley Road, so we would need to look at the two roads together.

This is Pippa’s statement:

“I am grateful to Justine for saying some words on my behalf tonight, in addition to her own.

‘I spoke in front of you in January 2019, almost two years ago, to flag up the impact that the new traffic restrictions on Mount Pleasant would have on York Road - a narrow residential street with narrow pavements and houses fronting onto those pavements.  The concern was that once the route outside Mount Pleasant was closed to cars, then York Road would be used as the primary cut through from London Road into Monson Road. 


Conversations and representations to the Council and others have taken place, the works have been completed and enforcement of the new restrictions have commenced despite public outcry and the current universal confusion over the appalling signage.


Towards the end of the works, for three months York Road was temporarily closed at the Town end whilst it was used as a storage area.  The road became more of a community, pedestrians were safer on the pavements and residents were able to park near their homes.


It was agreed in the Council offices approximately this time last year, with representation from York and Dudley Roads, local councillors and  KCC, that an official experimental road closure would be forthwith installed in York Road,  to reduce the chance of it becoming a rat run and to encourage more walking and cycling.  


Since that time nothing has happened. Apart from Covid which understandably affected all traffic flows around the town.  Traffic has now re-ignited and cars are starting to be fined for inadvertently using Mount Pleasant and with this the flow of cars down York Road is increasing. 


The chat on social media, apart from being generally vitriolic about the confusion caused by the lack of signage and the project is the  ...  view the full minutes text for item TB7/20


Parish Council Highways Improvement Plans pdf icon PDF 5 KB

A verbal overview of the scheme will be given by an officer from Kent County Council. 

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Paul Leary, West Kent Schemes Manager at Kent County Council provided a summary of the Highway Improvement Plans (HIPs) which included the following:


-       HIPs were a relatively new initiative that would give Parish Councils an opportunity to set out issues within their area.

-       The first stage of the process was a template that KCC send to the Parish Council.  Parish Councils would then list those locations where there was a concern, desire or wish list.  The template also allowed Parish Councils to make recommendations and/or suggestions about possible solutions. 

-       KCC also encouraged that locations were listed in order of priority.

-       Stage 2 was for KCC to plan and agree a joint action plan with the Parish Council.  This would include identifying and assigning responsibility for any actions.  KCC would also endeavour to provide a cost estimate and possible funding sources. 

-       KCC were keen to encourage Parish Councils to submit HIPs once a year and to agree a set of objectives and actions for the year ahead.  The HIPs were also reviewed  at least once a year which gave an opportunity to look back on any actions that had been undertaken and a programme to take forward into the following year.   

-       KCC gave out a Parish Information Pack which gave examples of typical things that might come up.  For example, various forms of traffic calming measures and pedestrian crossings, costs and considerations for appropriate use. 

-       It was also important to ensure that residents were included in discussions.



Speed Management and HGV's on Rural Roads pdf icon PDF 59 KB

A verbal summary of current policy will be given by an officer from Kent County Council. 

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Parish Councillor Graeme Stevenson, Brenchley and Matfield Parish Council had registered to speak:


“Residents of Blind Lane which is part of Brenchley Road (Blind Lane is the section between Pixot Hill/Crook Road crossroads and the western end of Brenchley High Street) and Windmill Hill in Brenchley, have been complaining repeatedly about the number of HGV’s using these unsuitable roads, particularly local scrap lorries belonging to a number of premises based at Old hay, near Paddock Wood.  These companies include Scrap co, JR Car Spares Auto Recycle, Core Commercial, Charles Trent, Osmonds plus others, repeatedly use these unsuitable roads for access to and from their depots from the larger trunk road network of the A21 or the A228.  Their use of these roads causes damage to property and road signs and is dangerous for parents and children going to Brenchley and Matfield Primary School, which is located at the western end of Blind Lane.  A much wider and safer route is available via Mascalls Court Lane and Mascalls Court Road.  To give an understanding of the unsuitability of these roads: Blind Lane (this section of Brenchley Road) has pinch points of 3.9m in width.  The widest point of Blind Lane is 5.2m.  Whilst Mascalls Court Lane has a consistent measurement of 6.5m width and Mascalls Court Road has only one pinch point of 4.9m in width.  From Old hay there is also the option of using Churn Lane, to access the B2162, which runs between Horsmonden and Collier Street.


These firms have been contacted by residents and claim they have been told by KCC Highways that they must not use Mascalls Lane at Paddock Wood as it passes Mascalls school.  By coming through Brenchley they are passing Brenchley and Matfield Primary school, if this claim is true should the same argument not apply?


Our request is that these roads are identified and provided with signage stating ‘Unsuitable for HGVs’ and the lorries serving these local scrap companies are asked to use the wider and safer routes provided by Mascalls Court Lane or Church Road to access the trunk road network?  It is noted that recently similar signage has been erected at both Watermans Lane and Chantlers Hill nearby (even though Chantlers Hill has a consistent 6m width), and residents in these affected roads in Brenchley do not understand why Blind Lane (Brenchley Road) should be any different.”


Paul Leary, West Kent Schemes Manager at Kent County Council provided a summary of the work being done by KCC in regards to speed management and HGV’s on rural roads which included the following:


-       Speed Management

o   KCC work within the guidelines at set out by the Department for Transport when setting speed limits (Department for Transport Circular 01/2013).

o   Speed limits must be evidence lead and self explaining.

o   The ultimate aim was to ensure that speed limits were self complaint.

o   Speed limits must be appropriate for the road. They should take account of any history of collisions, take account of  ...  view the full minutes text for item TB9/20


Highway Works Programme pdf icon PDF 496 KB

To consider the proposals set out in the report. 

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Carol Valentine, Highways Project Manager at KCC introduced the Highways Work Programme for 2019/20 onwards that summarised the various schemes across Highways for delivery in the current financial year and through to 2023/24.


Discussion included the following comments:


-       It was suggested that the reconstruction of the Red Brick Footway on the eastern side of London Road should also include the western side.

-       The report mentioned the installation of a zebra crossing on London Road but didn’t say where on the road it would be placed. 

-       It was suggested that the 20mph zone in place at Southborough Primary School be extended to include more of the side streets in the area.

-       Bridge strikes on the railway bridge on North Farm Road (High Brooms) should be looked at with something put in place to remind larger vehicle users. 

-       Earlier in the year a series of meetings had taken place with KCC on the implementation and success (or otherwise) of the Public Realm.  They included a number of issues:

o   A number of trials to establish how much of the new system was being used properly.

o   To look at pedestrian behaviour.

o   How much traffic was going across York Road.

o   Concern that York Road/Dudley Road would become rat runs.

-       It was accepted that the pandemic had delayed this work but that it should now be given urgent attention to deal with residents concerns about the roads becoming a rat run.  Details of earlier road counts and current road counts should now be made available. 

-       Another concern was that there should be a better, safer crossing at the junction with Monson Road. 

-       It was further suggested that there was a retrial of the road closures of York Road and Dudley Road. 


RESOLVED – That the report be noted.







Topics for Future Meetings pdf icon PDF 6 KB

To agree any topics for future meetings, of which prior notice 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 substantive debate/discussion or any decision on any topics raised, except to agree whether the topic may come forward in future.

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Comments were made in respect of the following matters:


-       The next meeting to include a presentation by the Cornford Lane/Halls Hole Road residents.

-       Suggestions to promote and improve  the town centre and the wider area and to encourage people to visit. To consider alternative modes of transport.  It should also include a review of the accessibility of the town centre for those with a disability. 

-       Actions to better protect the railway bridge at High Brooms.

-       The current position of the JTB agreement.

-       Air Quality.

-       A trial area to study the effects of banning HGV’s on rural lanes.


Date of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To note that the next scheduled meeting will be held on Monday 25 January 2021 at 6.00pm.

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The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 25 January 2021 at 6:00pm