The TWBC/KCC Joint Transportation Board (JTB) met on 20th July to discuss the transport strategy for Tunbridge Wells and a draft cycling strategy. This recent meeting was extremely significant for 20’s Plenty for Tunbridge Wells’ campaign because we saw the start of a possible radical shift how 20mph limits are implemented in Kent.
Kent County Council (KCC) retains responsibility for roads in the county, the JTB, which consists of KCC and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) officers and councillors, exists to discuss and then advise KCC what should happen in the Borough. All changes, from sizable infrastructure projects to where double yellow lines should be painted, need to be approved by this body. It is then up to KCC to decide how to implement approved changes.
KCC’s current policy is to allow 20 mph under particular circumstances; where there are safety concerns, a fatality took place for example, or where local residents demand it and where a county councillor will fund it. 20’s Plenty for Tunbridge Wells’ Local Coordinator, Adrian Berendt, who was invited to speak at the meeting, called upon TWBC and KCC to implement a borough-wide policy of 20 mph as the default speed limit. If this were to be approved, KCC would then
Look out for us! We often attend local events to raise awareness & collect signatures for our petition.
have to justify exceptions to 20 mph where the speed limit should be 30 mph or above.
A positive change - not just for Tunbridge Wells, but for Kent
As a result, the JTB has asked KCC and TWBC officers to deliver a report to the next meeting (19th October 2015) about the merits of implementing 20 mph for Tunbridge Wells and its implications for KCC policy more generally. This is a major step forward, not just for Tunbridge Wells, but for the whole of Kent.
Adrian Berendt said after the meeting “During various, a number of councillors spoke about the need to put road safety for all users as the top consideration when discussing changes to our road system. What struck me was that councillor after councillor spoke about ‘20’s Plenty’, not 20 mph limits, or 20 mph zones. The language has changed significantly in the past week. This is due, in no small measure, to Rod King’s [founder of 20’s Plenty for Us] visit last week and there were several mentions of last week’s hugely successful public meeting.” See the News article here for more information about the public meeting.
We need your help!
We now need to make sure that public support is heard ahead of the 19th October JTB meeting. If councillors feel a groundswell of public opinion, they are more likely to approve the conclusions of the report. We now have hundreds of signatures to our petition, but we need many more - please sign here.
20’s Plenty for Tunbridge Wells also wants to hear from supporters across all areas of the borough. Please contact us; even if it’s just to let your support be known, to provide us with your own stories why 20pmh limit is needed or to more actively lend your support – if you want to help, now is the time!