Tonbridge town centre road plans branded 'waste of our money'
A £15,000 plan to ease traffic and pollution in Tonbridge town centre have been slammed by councillors as "utterly ridiculous" and a waste of money.
Heads nodded in agreement at Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council as members decided to throw out plans for new road layouts designed to solve High Street congestion.
Kent County Council had commissioned engineering firm Jacobs to assess traffic flow in the town centre and outline proposals to reduce pollution.
But at a Joint Transportation Board meeting on Monday, borough councillors savaged the report.
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Councillor Owen Baldock described the plans as "preposterous".
"It's a very ill-thought out proposal," he said. "As a layperson who uses the roads frequently and knows them intimately, I don't think it's going to work."
A suggestion to remove the mini roundabout near the library and have Vale Road continue to the left to Railway Approach, with a small turning for access to the High Street sparked the most discussion.
Judd ward councillor Peter Bolt said: "Residents look for a straight and direct road. That won't change with the designs that are placed here.
"No one will take that right turn. Why should they turn right if they're going north? A roundabout produces fluency of movement."
Borough and county member Chris Smith said: "It's not only flawed but it should be dismissed. It doesn't help residents get from south to north – what it does is just shift the traffic.
"I'm very disappointed that we have spent a lot of money doing this. We're strapped for cash and here we are coming up with schemes not fit for purpose.
"It's a shame. We're doing the residents of this town a disservice by coming up with these things."
Leader of the Lib Dem group Liz Simpson suggested councillors be asked for their views.
"Ask the local members who have their fingers on the pulse," she said. "I suggest you abandon all of this, get yourselves a big map and little cars if necessary."
Jacobs also recommended scrapping the Hadlow Road to London Road link road scheme which was put forward in the 1970s.
But Councillor Russell Lancaster said cancelling the plan was "laughable".