Two months of disruption at new Fiveways as remedial work starts

Three Acts

The Fiveways pedestrian precinct in Tunbridge Wells is set to be disrupted for eight weeks as the renovation which was only completed last year is altered once more.

The original £750,000 project was designed to produce an ‘attractive piazza’ to ‘improve the look and feel of this part of town’.

But Tunbridge Wells Borough Council objected to the quality of some of the work carried out by the contractor, Amey, and has finally reached an agreement to have the repairs done.

The latest upheaval, which will begin on Monday (September 12), will see all northbound buses being diverted from the pedestrian area.

The road behind the Millennium Clock will be closed, with Lime Hill Road and Mount Ephraim Road being temporarily turned into two-way roads.

The disruption will coincide with at least ten weeks of major roadworks around the central crossroads at Crescent Road and Mount Pleasant Road by the gas company SGN, which commence on the same day.

Along Grosvenor Road and Mount Pleasant Road there will be no access for northbound traffic between the junctions with Newton Road and Goods Station Road for 11 weeks – also starting on the same day.

Among the issues around Fiveways that have been raised by residents is faulty alignment of some of the new paving stones, as well as cracks in the new pavements.

The council withheld part of the payment to Amey – the retention sum – until it was ‘satisfied with the work’.
Gary Stevenson, the council’s Head of Environment and Street Scene, now says: “Remedial and improvement work is due to start at Fiveways next week on 12 September.

“Inevitably there will be some disruption and noise and we are extremely sorry about this.

“We will make every effort to ensure contractors keep this to a minimum and move forward with the work as quickly as possible.”

He added: “When the project was completed we advised the contractor that we were not satisfied with some aspects of the job and we have been negotiating since then to have this redone.”

But he insisted that the council was generally satisfied with the development.

“Although we need to resolve these issues, the new layout and new vehicle restrictions have resulted in increased pedestrian space and made a positive change to the feel of the area,” he said.

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