Sevenoaks Town Council voices concerns over recent bus service updates within Sevenoaks Town
Published: 01 September 2022
SEVENOAKS TOWN COUNCIL’S KEY CONCERNS REGARDING KENT BUS SERVICE CANCELLATIONS AND REPLACEMENTS
Residents and especially parents in Sevenoaks Town, as well as surrounding areas will likely be aware of the anticipated bus service changes that have been announced in Kent.
Sevenoaks Town Council has been following the progression of this, as Kent County Councillors and Officers have been working tirelessly and on a tight schedule to provide alternatives to school bus services before the commencement of the new school year.
On Monday 22nd August 2022, Sevenoaks Town Council’s Planning Committee reviewed and discussed the situation at length, in particular detailing the Town Councillors concerns about the alternative solutions that have been organised by Kent County Council, which are outlined below. These have since been forwarded in a letter to Kent County Council, as well as to the District and County-level Councillors that preside over Sevenoaks and the surrounding area.
· One of the main topics of discussion was the rerouting of cancelled services from outside of Sevenoaks through Sevenoaks Town, via the Bus Station. Councillors were primarily concerned with this, and whether the capacity of buses would be able to service the volume of students predicted to use them, especially those boarding at the interchange point.
· Furthermore, concern was expressed on the impact that the increased use of HGVs stopping for extended amounts of time in Sevenoaks Town would have on the environment, air pollution, congestion and Sevenoaks Town in general. This is an issue of particular interest to Sevenoaks Town Council, which aspires to reduce and perhaps even eventually remove HGV activity within Sevenoaks Town. This is reflected in Aim 10 in Sevenoaks Town Council’s Submission Draft of its Neighbourhood Development Plan (more information on this is detailed below), which states that:
“the Town Council will work with the District Council, and Kent County Council to ensure that, wherever possible, HGV movements are directed away from the town centre”
· The logistics and safeguarding procedures that would be required for the large volume of children changing and boarding at the Sevenoaks Bus Station is also of a concern to Town Councillors
· Finally, the choice of Sevenoaks Bus Station as an interchange point for the above reasons.
The full discussion is available to view on Youtube via the following link.
Further information about Sevenoaks Town Council’s Neighbourhood Development Plan:
This is a document, prepared by the Town Council in collaboration with various local organisations and residents, which aims to add local detail to existing planning policies in order to guide future development within Sevenoaks Town. Through public consultation and public engagement activities, the contents have been formed to represent local residents’ visions and priorities for the area, with policies that provide design guidance to protect the local area’s character and heritage, as well as policies that contribute towards the governments zero carbon commitment.
The Submission Draft of the Neighbourhood Development Plan is available to view via the following website, which is dedicated to providing updates on its progress, as well as also being currently available via Sevenoaks District Council’s website. Sevenoaks District Council is currently holding a final public consultation on the Plan, alongside its supporting documents, in its capacity as the Local Planning Authority. The deadline to respond to the consultation is 22nd September 2022. This process precedes a final Referendum which is expected to be arranged by the Local Planning Authority for Winter 2022.
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