Residents of Tunbridge Wells rat run braced for traffic chaos
PEOPLE living along a Tunbridge Wells rat run are bracing themselves for more traffic chaos with seven weeks of roadworks looming.
Residents in Cornford Lane say upcoming works in Pembury Road will have a huge impact on their narrow and winding road, which runs between Pembury and Hawkenbury.
Kent County Council said it would put up "no through traffic" signs at both ends of the lane during the Pembury Road resurfacing and traffic light installation.
But Ned Kingcott, 69, of Cornford Lane, said: "Notices will mean nothing. They will pick them up and throw them in the hedges. I am worried as there will be seven weeks of this.
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"The council has stated it will not be installing any form of physical road closure. You can't blame people because as soon as people realise there is an obstruction along the top, they will all come down here."
He said it was critical the council made sure the lane closure was well publicised and drivers warned they "faced prosecution" by ignoring it.
He said, if possible, council officers should enforce the closure in person.
Motorists, some of whom drive "at ludicrously fast speeds" according to Mr Kingcott, regularly have accidents in the once-sleepy Cornford Lane. There have been incidents of motorists getting their vehicles stuck in the verges when trying to avoid other cars and eroding the ancient hedgerows and verges with their tyres.
The lane leads on to the rat run Halls Hole Road – which is the unofficial southern bypass of Tunbridge Wells for the A21.
"We get gridlock and we know when there is any blockage along Pembury Road because immediately the lane fills up. To be fair, the council has planned this during the school holidays and that will help, but there's still an awful lot of people; business people, office people and white van drivers."
Kent County Council confirmed the works would take seven weeks, starting on July 23.