To give us feedback please fill out the Traffic Survey here (closes 30th June 2020)
This is an update on the work your Parish Council (CPC), your Borough Cllr Tony Rice and KCC Cllr Bryan Sweetland, have been doing to address the unacceptable traffic problems in our villages. In particular, we draw your attention to a specialist traffic consultant’s report that CPC have commissioned to bring some action to the many years of concern we have all expressed.
What work has been going on?
When the new Parish Council was formed in 2019, Chairman Mike Booth established a Traffic Working Group with a 4 year plan to resolve the traffic problems through The Street and Sole Street. This followed the CPC investment in 2018 in a traffic monitoring device, put in place to gather the facts, by counting vehicle volumes and speeds. You may have seen this at various points in Sole Street and Cobham indicating your speed. With facts and figures in hand and after meetings with KCC (the highways authority), early in 2020 CPC commissioned the traffic consultant to analyse the evidence and recommend some feasible solutions.
The consultant’s report
The report is nearly 100 pages long, technical in nature and a written for discussion with KCC. Four potential solution options are suggested, these may not be the only ones, but they are there to start a meaningful dialogue with KCC. On the next page we have summarised the key points, but you can find the full report online here
Nothing permanent is going to happen without formal consultation with residents. We are not yet at that stage. The purpose of sharing the report now, is for you to voice your initial reaction, so that we can engage with KCC in a way that reflects the range of opinion in our villages.
Please read the summary and/or full report. There are two ways that you can raise questions, or share your views. Either contact one of the people below, and/or complete a short survey available here
Who can I contact?
Residents can contact:
- Email Tony Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01474 815306 or 07802 162443
- E,ail Matt Mason at email@example.com or call 07768 028370
IF YOU WISH TO PROVIDE AN OPINION, PLEASE DO SO BY 30TH JUNE 2020. To give us feedback please fill out the Traffic Survey here
Nothing will happen until the post CV19 ‘new normal’ has developed. We don’t know yet whether traffic will increase further, or decrease. We will also discuss the report with KCC to explore the options and initial residents’ views. At that point we anticipate a formal public consultation on the preferred option. If there is overwhelming support for one of the options, KCC will then work with us on modelling local implications, how it can be implemented and funded. This will almost certainly require a local government decision, which will take into account support and objections that may be submitted by individuals, other communities nearby, or public services requiring access through our villages. (Fire, Police etc).
We look forward to receiving your views, please note it is essential that we get significant input from a large number of parishioners, not just those that live on the two streets effected. These are your villages.
A Short Summary of the Consultant’s Report
The Problems Identified
- Due to queuing and delays on the A2, Cobham and Sole Street are badly affected by traffic rat running between the A2 and A227 and vice versa.
- Traffic on the A2 continues to increase year on year (8%), yet rat run traffic through the two villages is growing disproportionately faster (37%) • They are carrying 5 to 6 times the national average for their road type (C Roads)
- The national average is 1,230 on a normal weekday, whereas Cobham carries nearly 6,000 and Sole Street over 7,000
- In the peak hour period, Cobham experiences 600 vehicles on average, with 800 going through Sole Street, but the volumes soar even higher when the A2 is at a standstill
- The Street, Cobham is far from an average C Road width, because at its narrowest it is only 4.2m and 2way traffic cannot pass safely
- Where 0 is bad and 5 is good, the villages score 0 for volume on the ‘Rate My Road’ scale
Safety and Wellbeing Implications for Residents
- Pedestrian safety is a significant concern in both villages
- There are no footways for a large section of road either side of Sole Street and the narrow road width in The Street forces pedestrians and vehicles to compete for space
- There is a detrimental impact on the historic character of Cobham and the day-to-day amenity in the village
Potential Future Options
Four options are submitted for discussion, ranging from low to high in terms of impact on the problem, intrusiveness and cost:
- Gateway Features - To give drivers the sense that they are crossing a threshold into a village community, in the hope it deters bad driver behaviours
- Access Only - Restricting access to Cobham for residents and those accessing facilities, such as pubs, shops and school. This will require the police to enforce.
- One-way - Make The Street and Sole Street one way in the northbound/eastbound direction. This will eliminate all traffic rat running from A2 to A227.
- No Through Road - Closure of Cobham with a road block feature near the Darnley Arms
Please note that Traffic Lights have been discounted due to adverse local impact of pollution and queuing traffic.
Each option will have differing advantages and disadvantages, depending on where you live in Cobham or Sole Street, so please take some time to reflect on the report and let us have your initial views by completing the short survey via the link above, or contact Tony or Matt using the contact details above. – Thank you!