Low traffic neighbourhoods.
We support measures to introduce low traffic neighbourhoods for residential areas.
Twenty is plenty.
We want to achieve safer neighbourhoods, particularly near schools, and will consult residents on a 20mph limit in their roads. Recent consultations have shown the vast majority of respondents are in favour of such measures.
We will seek to provide a proper cycle lane along the A26 (using section 106 money – from developers) and an increase in the number of bicycle parking spaces. We support a cycle lane along Forest Road.
Electric vehicle charging points.
We will aim to deliver more electric vehicle charging points, accessing central government funds to do so.
A near-miss register.
We have had a recent success in getting the council to establish a near-miss register, which will allow us to track the accidents which almost happened and identify patterns and thus risk. This is a very low-cost scheme with minimal overheads and we intend to push it, make the public aware of it and see it develop into a really useful road safety tool.
They aren’t a borough responsibility but we will fight for a fair share of the funding available to rectify this issue.
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is very heavily reliant on parking revenue. At the same time, high parking fees can deter shoppers and create issues for those who work in the town centre but live elsewhere. We will liaise with neighbouring boroughs to examine what has worked and what has not in their parking strategies.
COVID changes the situation.
COVID has changed the way we work. More of us work from home. Town centre carparks are seeing less use.
Congestion in residential areas.
At the same time a frankly intolerable level of congestion is blighting the lives of residents of the town centre who struggle to be able to park their cars outside their homes.
Council reliance on parking revenue.
Sadly, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has become reliant on parking revenue. A reduction in the number of people using the big town centre carparks is a direct threat to TWBC’s fiscal stability.
Future ways and means.
The car as we understand it has a limited future. There are more people working from home and self-driving cars will eventually (not any time soon) replace driven vehicles. This means investment in carparks is not economically sound at this point.
A new approach.
By offering season tickets at a reduced rate to residents and to businesses to be issued as an employee perk we can take some of the cars off residential streets and maintain some of the income.
Coach and bus parking.
The Old Coach Car Park was closed to coaches several years ago. Currently the only place for buses and coaches to park is alongside the Common on London Road. We will investigate returning the former coach park, or a portion of it, to parking spaces for coaches and buses, or identify an alternative location, in order to retain the beauty of the conservation area and help promote Tunbridge Wells as a welcoming, visitor-friendly destination.
We will aim to introduce free Sunday parking along with evening parking and reduced rates on Saturdays to encourage shoppers and revellers into the town centre. This will obviously need to be phased and carefully monitored to ensure we don’t have a sudden drop-off in council revenue but as carparks are rarely full at the moment there is the potential to off-set reduced fees by greater usage.
A long overdue parking strategy.
A new parking strategy has been promised for years. We will push for this to be completed and issued in the first year in control of the council and an immediate review of other resident concerns once published.