Roundabout relief for Pembury Road drivers

    Pembury Road Tunbridge Wells

    The nightmare journey for motorists coming into Tunbridge Wells on the Pembury Road is likely to be easier after the building of a £1.35million roundabout.

    Previous plans to improve the notorious bottleneck over the years have failed to deliver any discernable reduction in the long queues suffered by motorists during rush hours.

    Conditions were made worse after traffic lights were installed at the junction where the road meets Blackhurst Lane and Hall’s Hole Road as a planning condition of the expansion of the Skinners’ Kent Academy School in 2012.

    Hope that motorists will be afforded some relief came after the Borough Council revealed plans for a roundabout are in the pipeline.

    However, documents released by Kent County Council (KCC) state that ‘significant construction issues’ may hinder the delivery of the project in the 2016/17 financial year.

    Speaking at a meeting of the Council last Wednesday, Council Leader David Jukes said the money for the scheme had been found after another project had come in under budget.

    The proposal was described as ‘excellent news’ by Mayor David Elliott.

    Originally the Council had applied for £1.8million in funding through a partnership with KCC to implement the improvements due to be undertaken on London Road in Southborough.

    The money was provided following a successful bid to the Government’s Single Local Growth Fund in 2014, but the scheme proved considerably cheaper, costing £600,000.

    The remaining £1.2million has since been earmarked for installing a roundabout at Pembury Road, Hall’s Hole Road and Blackhurst Lane junction.

    Cllr Jukes said: “Being left with about £1.2million in change, we suggested building the roundabout.

    “So it may take a bit of kicking and shoving and prodding but it is actually going to start sometime in the future and the money is there.”

    In total the scheme is expected to cost £1.35m, based on ‘very broad estimates’. However, Vicki Hubert, the strategic transport planner at Kent County Council, said it was ‘hoped’ the total cost can be brought within the allocation, adding; “Any shortfall could potentially be met through developer contributions.”