Notes for my presentation to Swale’s Joint Transportation Board, 24th June 2019
Thank you, Chair and good afternoon, everyone. My name is Tim Stonor and I’m a resident of Faversham. I also design streets and traffic junctions for a living.
I wish to speak about Agenda item 11 regarding the update on designs for the junction of the A2 and A251 in Faversham. Several of the designs that have been under consideration are for very large roundabouts and one is for traffic signals.
The officer’s recommendation is to progress with the traffic lights option. I think this is sensible and, although I speak in a personal capacity, I know my views are shared elsewhere in Faversham and may even be echoed in this room. I’m looking specifically at Mr Whiting, who spoke very well last week at an event in Faversham on the future of transport across the town and heard the views of a packed room against the roundabout options.
I’d like to make two requests:
First, that for the sake of clarity, that if the JTB follows officers recommendations to progress the traffic lights that it confirms that the roundabout proposals will be abandoned. Maybe it’s just me but the briefing paper seems a little vague on this.
Roundabouts are entirely out of place in a town that, as you are about to hear from Amanda Russell under Agenda item 13, is working so hard to encourage people to walk.
Roundabouts send an inconsistent message, and not least on a street that, as a result of development along its southern edge, is moving from being an edge of town street to a street that runs through the centre of the town.
Second, that in following the officers’ recommendation and progressing the traffic signals design, that great care is taken to design the junction for pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicles.
I’m sorry to say that, as the designs stands at present, there is very little in them for pedestrians.
The single, staggered pedestrian junction is of a design that should be consigned to the 20th century.
As the designs progress, can I encourage KCC officers to work with Swale Borough Council‘s own urban designer. And, in addition, with the urban designers acting for the Duchy of Cornwall, as well as with those of us looking at a crossing outside the Abbey School and along Forbes Road.
Indeed we are considering holding a design workshop to consider the future of the A2 as it runs through Faversham. Is this something the JTB would, in principle, wish to support and to participate in?
Major junction design is never simple but, with care, it is possible to balance the needs of all transport modes: vehicles, cycles and pedestrians.
Thank you for your attention.