Tonbridge 20mph zone
A new town-wide 20mph zone in Tonbridge has been created as part of plans to increase walking and cycling. This scheme is one of various active travel initiatives to encourage more cycling and walking in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The changes around town included 20mph road markings and signs as well as signed 20mph ‘gateways’ as you drive in. These gateways have either a buff or red surface to highlight the start of the new speed limit.
There were no other traffic calming measures such as speed bumps, in the first phase. However, throughout the trial period we monitored the effectiveness of the scheme and there may be a need for further measures to ensure that the road design encourages motorists to keep to the 20mph limit.
Further measures may be introduced to improve pedestrian crossings and pavements as well as provide dedicated cycle lanes and paths for cyclists.
We are working with Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council on this scheme.
There are studies that show 20mph schemes encourage active travel, increasing walking and cycling levels by about a fifth because they feel safer.
More walking and cycling can help:
- improve health
- save money
- reduce traffic congestion
- increase levels of physical activity
- improve air quality.
Lower speeds give drivers and others more time to react.
By travelling at 20mph instead of 30mph, pedestrians and cyclists are five times more likely to survive a hit by a motorised vehicle. With a reduction of just 1mph, this can reduce casualties by an average of 6%.
Whether you are driving, walking or cycling around the town read safety information for all road users via the Kent Road Safety website.
The consultation closed on 3 March 2021. Responses have been analysed and the consultation report is available.
This report was discussed at the Tonbridge and Malling Joint Transportation Board on 20 September 2021.
In addition to consultation responses, data from the following activities will help inform our decision:
- attitudinal surveys - carried out face-to-face with a representative sample before and towards the end of the trial
- average speed surveys in certain locations
- crash statistics (although this needs to be over a longer period than the 18 month trial period – normally 3 years)
- engagement with district council partners and statutory consultees, including emergency services
- equality impact assessment
- pedestrian and cycle counts - carried out before, during and towards the end of the trial
- use of existing air quality stations - any changes in air quality will have to be understood over a longer period.
An independent evaluation of the 20mph trials in Tonbridge and Faversham has been produced presenting the findings from the quantitative and qualitative data sources.
These findings were discussed at the Tonbridge and Malling Joint Transportation Board on 22 November 2021. A recommendation was made to return Pembury Road, Quarry Hill Road, Shipbourne Road and London Road back to 30mph and for the remaining roads within the trial area to be made a 20mph speed limit permanently.
The public notice period to make the experimental order permanent runs from 11 February to midday on 28 March 2022.