Update from St. Johns - Parking on Reynolds Lane

Today, Tuesday 10th March, residents met with Project Managers from Gen2 Property Ltd., working on behalf of Kent County Council, to resolve the problem of inconsiderate parking. With the support of Tunbridge Wells Borough Councillors, Marguerita Morton and Pete Lidstone, there will be parking restrictions on both sides of the lane from properties leading to the northern boundary of St. Gregory’s Catholic School up to the public footpath between Reynolds Lane and St. John’s Road.

Parking on Reynolds Lane near St. Gregory’s Catholic Secondary School has been a hazard to residents and to road users alike, since the addition of a sports hall and classrooms to the school to accommodate two additional form entries from 2016/17 and 2017/18 academic years, which means an additional 60 students. 

Students have been using this part of Reynolds Lane for overflow parking for many years as they now drive to school in larger numbers. Residents have complained of near collisions between northbound and southbound traffic that use the lane as a short cut to and from town to avoid congestion on St. John’s Road (A26).  Waste collection trucks, emergency and delivery vehicles have difficulties using this roadway because of the parked cars causing obstruction adjacent to the school gates. Tempers fray during peak times especially at 8-8:30 in the morning.

St. John’s Lib Dems want to see less dependence on the car to travel to school.  We have championed active travel, meaning that we would like to see more people walking or cycling to their places of work or study.  However, this requires cooperation from the County Council to improve our cycling infrastructure so that it makes it safer to travel on our over crowded streets.  Cllr. Lidstone says “What we need is a changed approach to roads. We need to get the buy in at senior levels to the idea that we cannot build our way out of this, but need to encourage modal shift by making it harder to drive short distances.”

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Improved Access at High Brooms

It is wonderful news that High Brooms station is at long last getting an upgrade that will hopefully provide much better access for all rail passengers.
Comfortable waiting rooms with toilets on both platforms would be the next step, as would more direct bus connections between Southborough, High Brooms station and Knights Wood, and electric vehicle charging points in the car park.
It is however very sad to see that Shopmobility could close in the RVP, despite all the sterling work done by Chris Jeffery and many local volunteers through organisations such as Mending the Gap. Let us hope that a reprieve can be agreed to keep this vital service open.
We must likewise ensure that all new buildings across the borough such as the Amelia Scott are fully accessible for all residents right from their first day of opening to the public.
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Liberal Democrats Support Shopmobility in Tunbridge Wells

On a cold and dreary Wednesday, steadfast campaigners pitched up to protest against the proposed cuts to Shopmobility, an important service in Tunbridge Wells, which provides a lifeline to those in need.
We sang and chanted, we made our voices heard, and exercised our right to protest peacefully. 
We garnered much attention from the attending councillors and Shopmobility volunteers, who were meeting to discuss the future of the service. 
We don't know yet what's going to happen, but Shopmobility isn't the first vital service to be in jeopardy- the budget for the Citizens Advice Bureau has been drastically cut already, which shows that austerity is unfortunately very much thriving in Tory-run Tunbridge Wells.
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