On Friday 4 November the working group, set up to consider traffic issues at the North Farm Industrial Estate, met at the Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells. Chaired by local MP, Greg Clark, the meeting was attended by representatives from the business community, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council.
The meeting heard that short term measures (as identified in the North Farm traffic study) that could help relieve the traffic problems at North Farm were being implemented and it was anticipated that they would be in place before Christmas. These include:
- capacity improvements at the Great Lodge/Longfield Road junction – carrying out changes to traffic signal phases
- install CCTV cameras at the Great Lodge/Longfield Road and Kingstanding Way/Longfield Road junctions
- implement ‘Keep Clear’ markings at the Knights Park/Longfield Road junction (west bound carriageway)
- implement ‘Keep Clear’ markings at the Dowding Way/Longfield Road roundabout adjacent to Dowding Way entry
Councillor Brian Ransley, Planning and Transportation Portfolio Holder said: “This was a constructive meeting and it was very apparent that we all share the desire to work together to find solutions for North Farm.
“The cost of the short term measures will be met from section106 funding from development in Longfield Road, while consideration is still being given to the medium and long-term solutions.
“I was able to emphasise how seriously the borough council views the traffic issues at North Farm. The council’s Cabinet is determined that a more radical solution to the traffic problem at North Farm should be sought as soon as possible, and will campaign vigorously to ensure that this problem get priority attention from Kent County Council and other involved agencies.”
MP for Tunbridge Wells Greg Clark said: “The congestion at North Farm gets worse. The transformation of North Farm will come with the dualling of the A21, but I believe it is right to take action now rather than wait for the main show. Everything that can be done to improve the situation must be done. That’s why I convened this group of Tunbridge Wells and Kent Councillors and officers and businesses in North Farm and I’m pleased that some improvements will be made in time for what will no doubt be a busy Christmas.”
The borough council is going to be inviting all the businesses at North Farm to an information session at the end of the month where they can hear about the work the Council and KCC are undertaking and how they can assist in addressing the current congestion issues.