Agenda and minutes

Joint Transportation Board - Monday, 17th April, 2023 6.00 pm

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Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Team 


No. Item


Apologies pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

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Apologies were received from Councillors Bruneau, Lewis and Willis.  Councillor Mackonochie joined the meeting at 6:20pm, Councillor Holden left the meeting at 6:50pm.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 67 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 interests or other significant interests declared at the meeting.


Notification of visiting Members wishing to speak pdf icon PDF 30 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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The following people had registered to speak:


Mr Paul Mason – Agenda Item 4, JTB Highways Improvement Advisory Note & Agenda Item 5, TWBC Active Travel Update

Councillor Justine Rutland – Agenda Item 6, Public Realm Update

Councillor Nick Pope – Agenda Item 6, Public Realm Update

Mr Adrian Berendt – Agenda Item 6, Public Realm Update

Councillor Hugo Pound – Agenda Item 7, Residents Parking, Clifton Road




JTB Highways Improvement Advisory Note pdf icon PDF 72 KB

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Mr Paul Mason (Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Bicycle Users Group) had registered to speak, comments included:


-       Statements included within the report were welcomed, particularly paragraph 1.17 which stated that KCC were no longer looking to amend the network to accommodate more cars. 

-       Sustainable modes of transport at development sites were being recommended.


Discussion and questions from Members included the following:


-       Paragraph 1.18 related to issues around consultation with KCC on highways issues at the planning stages of new developments.  Concern was raised that it would be hard to ascertain safety issues at the early stages of any development. 

-       KCC were a statutory consultee on the highways impact of any planning application.  Determining the significance of the information received from KCC would be a matter for the Borough as the Planning authority.  But it was noted that KCC were constrained in their ability to refuse applications on the grounds of safety due to strict rules within current highway safety regulations.

-       Levels of congestion were not considered a safety concern and therefore not a reason to refuse an application.

-       The size of the development would also be a consideration in determining the weight given to the information received from KCC.

-       There might be some value in trying to find out how many planning applications had bee refused on the grounds of highway safety. 

-       It was noted that there were a lot of preliminary discussions before planning applications were formally submitted, and it may be the case that many were discounted at an early stage if highway safety concerns were an issue. 


RESOLVED – The report was noted.




TWBC Active Travel Update

Verbal Update

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Mr Paul Mason (Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Bicycle Users Group) had registered to speak, comments included:


-       Consideration to be given to the reduction of pedestrian waiting times at pedestrian crossings.

-       The maximum waiting time should be 10-15 seconds.

-       A trial site should be set up and it was suggested the pedestrian crossing on the Pembury Road by St George’s School would be a suitable place for the trial. 

-       The waiting time at this crossing should be reduced from 25 seconds to 15 seconds.

-       The suggestion had already been put forward to KCC, who raised a number of objections, none of which could be considered as valid as they focused on keeping cars moving.

-       The trial should be for a 3 month period.  After which, if there were no adverse effects, the change could be made permanent and another site could be identified for similar treatment. 


Hilary Smith, Economic and Development Manager gave a verbal update, comments included:


-       TWBC had been awarded £25k from Active Travel England’s Capacity Fund. 

-       The funding would be used to commission designs for cycling and walking routes within the Borough.

-       A final decision had yet to be taken, but it was likely the Council would commission a design for a cycle route from the Rusthall area into the town centre.

-       Initial discussions with the Commons Conservators on potential routes via the Commons had already taken place. 

-       During May the Council were planning some engagement within the local community in the St John’s and St James’ Wards on ways that some of the residential streets in the area could be improved.

-       A small working group had been set up, which included a number of local residents, Councillors and members of the Town Forum.

-       TWBC were also working with KCC regarding the future of the High Street.  It was currently operating as a one-way scheme under a temporary TRO.   The TRO expired in September 2023. It was understood that a new TRO would have to be a permanent one. 

-       In order to put a permanent TRO a public consultation would be required. 

-       TWBC had been in discussion with KCC on ways the scheme could be improved. 

-       Discussions had also taken place with the Business Improvement District (The BID), who were potentially interested in providing some funding to upgrade the current scheme.

-       As part of the A21 duelling scheme, cycle routes were proposed for both Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge.  The Tunbridge Wells element had been completed and discussions between TWBC, Tonbridge and Malling and KCC were now taking place to take to complete the Tonbridge part of the scheme.


Discussion and questions from Members included the following:


-       It might be possible to look at extending the cycling provision to Langton Green, but it would depend on cost.

-       Feedback from the High Street when the scheme was first introduced was very positive. 

-       Something more permanent and less high maintenance was  ...  view the full minutes text for item TB26/22


Topics for Future Meetings pdf icon PDF 28 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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Discussion included the following:


-       Consideration to be given on a report to look at how to reduce the number of road closures in Kent.

-       In 2019, 4,000 permits were issued.  In 2022 this had risen to 16,000 permits.

-       16,000 permits equated to every mile of road in Kent being closed an average of 3 times a year.

-       KCC had now been asked to see how that number could be reduced.

-       KCC had initially responded that Health and Safety requirements mandated that there had to be at least 1 metre between those working on the road and the traffic. 

-       It was suggested, road closures were easier and cheaper for contractors, rather than to set up traffic management that would allow the road to remain open.

-       It was suggested that the JTB should write a letter to the KCC Cabinet Member and to the Director of Highways requesting that the number of permits be reduced and to ask KCC officers for a mechanism of how this could be achieved.

-       To consider a pilot scheme for the reduction of waiting times at pedestrian crossings.

-       Town issues dominated the meeting, with rural areas being missed.  More engagement was needed with the Parishes.  But it was important that traffic issues that affected rural areas come forward to JTB.  Discussion between KCC Councillors and KCC Officers to discuss possible topics would take place in the first instance, subject to those discussions, consideration could be given to items being added to future agendas.




1.    The Chair of JTB to write to KCC to request a reduction of permits for road closures and to ask for a mechanism to be put in place to ensure fewer permits were issued in the future. 

2.    The Chair of JTB to approach KCC about the possibility of a pilot scheme to reduce waiting times at pedestrian crossings.

3.    KCC Councillors to discuss possible agenda items with KCC Officers that  affect rural areas for inclusion at future JTB meetings. 


TWBC Public Realm 2 Update

Verbal Update

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Adrian Berendt, Deputy Chair of Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Forum had registered to speak, comments included:


-       The initial plans were well received and it was believed this would result in the area becoming an iconic public square that would compliment the Town Hall and the Amelia Scott building. 

-       Unfortunately the final decision lost much of the original vision. 

-       The Town Forum, along with residents had now undertaken some work and made a number of observations which had been circulated to Members.

-       The report was not intended to be scientific and was carried out independently of Council officers.

-       There was concern that although traffic levels had fallen, the area still looked like a highway rather than a public space.

-       Pedestrians crossing York Road, Dudley Road and Monson Road still had to make way for vehicles rather than the other way around.

-       Residents of local streets were inconvenienced and remained concerned about traffic levels and vehicle speeds. 

-       The report made a number of suggestions that would improve the area for residents, visitors and businesses. 

-       A full review of the scheme so far should be undertaken with a plan that included a series of steps that would return the scheme to something similar to the original proposal.

-       The Town Forum were very happy to continue to engage with officers.


Councillor Pope had registered to speak, comments included:


-       Supportive of the concept of a more pedestrian friendly road but had reservations about the delivery of Public Realm 2.

-       The design was confusing and even though the signage might now be correct, there were not enough other visual prompts to make it clear that the area was for pedestrians rather than vehicles.

-       The change in signing from red prohibitive signing to blue signing had made it more confusing.

-       Monson Road was the most confusing as there was insufficient warning of the restrictions ahead, with drivers often then having to turn around.

-       Crossing at Monson Road was dangerous for pedestrians.

-       It would be useful to understand next steps.


Councillor Rutland had registered to speak, comments included:


-       The Parking Team and Communications team had worked hard and this was welcomed.

-       Enforcement had begun and fines were being sent out. 

-       Although the scheme had been inherited from the previous administration, the aim of reducing traffic in the town centre was supported.

-       However there were a number of flaws in the design which should now be addressed.  The report from the Town Forum was very helpful in identifying these issues and the Board should consider them carefully.

-       The concerns of local residents fell into two camps, longer journey times particularly when seeking on street parking spaces and concerns about the additional traffic.

-       Residents had not received any meaningful engagement when the scheme was introduced.

-       The scheme needed to be better for both residents and pedestrians.

-       In a few months’ time, there will be a better  ...  view the full minutes text for item TB28/22


TWBC - Residents Parking - Clifton Road pdf icon PDF 125 KB

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Councillor Hugo Pound had registered to speak.  A statement was read out by the Clerk which included the following comments:


-       This had been an issue for quite a while.

-       Also to note, the as yet undetermined planning application which, if approved, would reduce still further the available parking at the bottom of Clifton Road.

-       Residents had been encouraged to speak at the meeting.

-       The loss of up to 4 parking spaces down by Clifton Cottages would only compound the parking problem.

-       The extension of the parking permit bays was wholly supported, although there was concern about ‘moving the problem on’ into Brook Road, Oak Road and Laurel Road.  Monitoring and enforcement by the Council should be guaranteed.


Nick Baldwin – Senior Traffic Engineer introduced the report set out in the agenda.


Discussion and questions from Members included the following:


-       A gradual approach was a sensible option. 

-       It could be reviewed at a later date if deemed necessary.

-       The recommendations were agreed.



1.    That the Joint Transportation Board endorse the drafting and advertising of a Traffic Regulation Order which promotes the additional permit parking space within the existing zone.

2.    That the results of that consultation exercise be reported to a future meeting of the Board.





Highway Works Programme pdf icon PDF 252 KB

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Julian Cook, West Kent Highways Manager for Kent County Council introduced the report set out in the agenda.


Discussion and questions from Members included the following:


-       The resurfacing on the A26 from Culverden Park to Grosvenor Road roundabout was welcomed.

-       The cycle lane by Woodbury Park Road had yet to be reinstated, or the bus demarcation lines. 

-       It was confirmed this work had yet to be finished but would be done in due course.


RESOLVED – The report was noted.




Date of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To note that the next scheduled meeting will be held on Monday 3 July 2023 at 6.00pm.

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The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 3 July 2023 at 6pm.