Disruptive gas works halted

As reported in last week’s Times of Tonbridge, the works  were scheduled to last 12 weeks – into the Christmas shopping period – and would have affected traders and parents on the school run.

But Kent County Council has confirmed that they have ordered the works, which were due to start on September 9, to be stopped due to the ‘substantial failure to engage in communication’ from the company behind the scheme, SGN.

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge & Malling welcomed the decision to revoke SGN’s permit.

He said “The High Street has just this week re-opened following works to the Bus Stop by Café Nero, so closing it again next week for over two months was always going to cause chaos.

“I’m grateful to all our local councillors for all their work to get to this stage.”

Mr Tugendhat, along with Leader of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Nicolas Heslop, and Tonbridge’s Kent County Councillors, Richard Long and Michael Payne all asked SGN to postpone the works, which they say residents were not even aware were happening.

Nicolas Heslop, said: “Tonbridge’s economic regeneration relies on the town being accessible. Closing it with just a couple of weeks’ notice was not acceptable.

“It is not a suitable way to support our High Street and local businesses and particularly in the build-up to the crucial Christmas shopping period for retailers, together with the prospect of a delay in completing the works on the Christmas Festival in late November.

“I remain concerned about the proposed diversion route and the impact it would have had on those residents I represent along The Ridgeway and neighbouring roads. “That’s why I’m pleased that our requests have been listened to.”

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