PRESS RELEASE: SEVENOAKS TOWN COUNCIL’S RESPONSE TO KENT COUNTY COUNCIL’S DRAFT EMERGING LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN
Published: 18 September 2023
Residents may be aware that Kent County Council is currently holding a public consultation on its draft Emerging Local Transport Plan, which sets out KCC’s ambitions for transport in Kent, as well as policy outcomes and objectives which have been designed to achieve it.
Copy of the supporting documents, as well as opportunity to respond to the consultation is available via following link: https://letstalk.kent.gov.uk/local-transport-plan-5
, with the consultation set to close on 18th September 2023.
The draft Emerging Local Transport Plan, alongside a draft response provided by Cllr Clayton, were received and commented on by Sevenoaks Town Council’s Planning Committee on 11th September 2023. Members noted in particular, the significant challenge that KCC appear to be facing with meeting the legal commitment to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. Moreover, despite the projected difficulties in meeting the targets in time, the emerging Plan presents few policy actions aimed at closing this gap.
For this reason, the Town Council’s Planning Committee considered it more appropriate to provide a direct response to the consultation in the form of a letter to KCC, with recommendations and commentary on how they can provide a clearer path to achieving Net Zero in the Transport Plan. The following key comments are included in the Town Council’s response, which has since been forwarded to KCC for their consideration:
- The Town Council supports a risk-based approach to reducing road casualties, however urge KCC to consider all crash injuries, as even minor crash injuries are a major disincentive to active travel.
- Increasing the use of active and sustainable travel options should be given much higher priority status, considering the important contribution they will make towards achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. They are currently ranked at numbers 8 (for increased use of public transport) and 9 (regarding increased active travel).
- In addition, further detail as to how measures to encourage active or sustainable travel will be delivered is needed; for instance, via 20mph zones, HGV controls, walking and cycling routes etc.
- Rail travel is vital for Sevenoaks, and the Town Council recommended various ways through which KCC could be more ambitions in how they encourage travellers to use these services, including:
- Regular fast trains from Maidstone East via Otford and Swanley to join CrossRail at Farringdon and beyond, as proposed in 2026/17/18/
- Integrating the metro services which start from Sevenoaks into Transport for London, as promised in 2015
- Integrating into the London ticketing system through Oyster, and retaining London Travelcards
- Continuing to promote and support Community Rail Partnerships
Full copy of the Town Council’s response will be attached as an Appendix to the 25th September 2023 Planning Committee Agenda, due to be uploaded to the following webpage on 19th September 2023: https://www.sevenoakstown.gov.uk/Planning_Committee_20066.aspx
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