Moves made to curb cars flouting new restrictions

Moves made to curb cars flouting new restrictions
Traffic restrictions in Tunbridge Wells

The £1.3million Public Realm Works outside the Town Hall were completed late last year, and included the installation of speed bumps, wider pavements and fewer bus stops, which the Council says was to make the area more attractive and ‘pedestrian-friendly’.

Along with the improvements, the Council introduced new restrictions to traffic, with only buses and access vehicles allowed to enter the road from 9am to 6pm – the same restrictions that apply in Five Ways.

When the works were first completed, some motorists argued the signage was inadequate, leading people accidentally to enter the new restricted zone, but the Council installed new signage last month.

But a number of drivers have been continuing to flout the rules.

The Council is now enforcing the pedestrian-friendly area, and motorists caught driving flouting the ban now face a fine.

From yesterday [Tuesday] a Council CCTV ‘safety car’ will regularly be used to monitor vehicles going through the new restricted road, from Mount Pleasant Road outside the Town Hall to Monson Road.

The Council has said that their approach in the first instance will be to ‘inform and educate drivers’ about the restrictions before any formal enforcement takes place.

Owners of vehicles in the area during the restricted hours will be sent a letter advising them of the restrictions.

The letter will explain that if the vehicle is in this area during the restricted hours on a future occasion it may result in a Penalty Charge Notice for £60.00 being sent to the owner of the vehicle.

But Leader of the Council, Alan McDermott, said: “The approach to enforcement is not about penalising motorists, but informing them about what the restrictions are so that fewer vehicles pass through and the area is more pedestrian-friendly, as intended.”

The Public Realm works, which were a joint scheme by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council, are a continuation of an earlier phase of making the town centre more pedestrian-friendly.

The Council say it is hoped the changes will encourage more people to walk or cycle into town and spend more leisure time in the area.

But the alterations have proved controversial, with traders along Monson Road complaining that the restrictions would lose them ‘passing trade’ and put them out of business.


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