Couple’s pledge to pay for the cost of ‘danger’ road crossing

    Calverley Park Gardens

    A couple with two young children are so desperate for a safe place to cross a ‘dangerous’ road, they are willing to pay for a crossing themselves.

    Francesca Winterflood, who lives in Calverley Park Gardens, says a surge in the speed and volume of traffic has made her road a crash site waiting to happen.

    The 46-year-old says the most dangerous place, at which a crossing is needed, is on Lansdowne Road near the junction with Calverley Road, but there are other danger spots in the area.

    She told the Times: “I knew it was a busy road when we moved here but I had no idea it would turn into a rat run for buses, lorries and HGVs.

    “After slowing down for the camera by Dunorlan, drivers tear down our road to the roundabout at 40, 50, 60 miles an hour.

    “I have trouble crossing the road, and I’m not encumbered by a push chair or any physical limitations.

    “There’s a bus stop, primary school, medical centre and a church here, and I see lots of children, parents with prams and older people trying to cross and fear for them.

    “Everyone here feels the same, but pedestrians aren’t a priority in this town.

    “A huge petition last year called for a crossing from Crescent Road car park to St Augustine’s church.

    The borough council recommended Kent County Council (KCC) address the issue but there’s still no crossing.”

    Mrs Winterflood, who no longer drives, and her husband, a banker, hoped that when they moved from Prague to Tunbridge Wells two years ago, their daughters, aged ten and 12, would have more independence.

    But they are so ‘terrified’ about the girls crossing the road, it has restricted their freedom.

    “Tunbridge Wells is wonderful as it has everything you need within walking distance,” said Mrs Winterflood.

    “But I can’t foresee a time I would let my children go out on their own, to catch the school bus, walk to the park or visit the shopping centre.

    WHAT THEY SAID:

    Neighbour Amanda Poole:
    “Cars and large lorries thunder down Calverley Park Gardens, round the bend and towards the roundabout.

    They seem to have no idea it is a residential road and I often see elderly people and parents with children struggling to cross.”

    Tunbridge Wells 20’s Plenty co-ordinator Adrian Berendt said: “It’s essentially a residential road but is used as a cut-through by traffic and should be severely restricted as to what vehicles can use it and how fast they can drive.

    “Aside from installing a crossing and making it part of the national cycle route, that road should definitely be made 20mph.”

    In response to Greg Clark’s enquiry on Mrs Winterflood’s behalf, Cllr Balfour said:

    “All requests for additional crossings are prioritised by analysing the personal injury crash record for the past three years.

    “Officers have checked the crash record for Calverley Park Gardens and the area around the junction of Calverley Road and Crescent Road.

    “There have been no crashes recorded in that period that involved pedestrians. As such, other locations are a higher priority.

    “Please reassure your constituents these roads will continue to be monitored annually in order to identify and address any emerging safety issues.”