The first phase of a programme of major improvements to Tonbridge High Street will start this month.
The £2.65m regeneration project delivered by Kent County Council in partnership with Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council will enhance the town’s main shopping area, with the aim of boosting the local economy and enhancing the historic area of the town.
Work will include widening pavements, improving the road surface, establishing a 20mph speed limit and designated delivery areas.
Phase 1, which commences on 17 August 2015, involves widening and resurfacing pavements along with a range of other improvements between the Vale Road Roundabout to the Big Bridge.
Work will start at Vale Road and progress along the western side of the High Street up to the Big Bridge and then return on the eastern side, completing on 11 April 2016.
There will initially be traffic lights in place while we work near the Vale Road Roundabout. As work progresses between Vale Road and the Big Bridge, the High Street will be one way northbound between Vale Road and Bordyke.
Southbound traffic will be diverted via Bordyke, Hadlow Road, Cannon Lane and Vale Road.
Commencement of the work follows ongoing public engagement since October 2014 to communicate plans and address queries through exhibitions, newspaper advertising, websites, business surgeries as well as personal visits to approximately 100 businesses affected by the proposed scheme.
This week a leaflet was sent to 400 local businesses and residents working and living nearby outlining phase 1 details, with further leaflets available from Tonbridge Gateway and the town’s library.
Matthew Balfour, KCC Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport said: “We are excited to be moving ahead with this work which will give Tonbridge a first class High Street infrastructure and support its ongoing regeneration.
“As well as a more welcoming look, it will be a lot more pedestrian friendly, with less congestion and improved air quality.
“Starting work is a real milestone following months of preparation, working together with Tonbridge residents and businesses.
“We’ll continue to keep those affected updated throughout and we will aim to cause as little disruption to businesses and residents as we can.”
Work will temporarily cease between 22 November 2015 and 3 January 2016 inclusive in order to minimise the effect on local businesses in the Christmas shopping period and to allow the Christmas Festival to proceed unimpeded.
For more information and to submit feedback, visit www.tonbridgehighstreet.org or for specific queries call Kent County Council on 03000 418181.