1. A Safe Community - (B) Roads and Pavements 1 (b): A SAFE COMMUNITYON THE ROADS AND PAVEMENTSThis section is about using the village roads, especially when walking beside them. These are the concerns that the community indicated as most needing action: (These are the views indicated by the majority of numerical responses received to the questionnaire) SPEED OF VEHICLES ON ALL OTFORD ROADSWIDE VEHICLES IN THE HIGH STREET UNEVEN PAVEMENTSMORE PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS VILLAGE CAR PARK ISSUESCONTROL OF FUTURE TRAFFIC VOLUMES IN RYE LANEThese were all the verbatim comments added to the questionnaire: (We wish to point out that these are individual written comments and do not necessarily represent the views of the majority) 1b HIGHWAYS & TRAFFIC Pedestrian Crossing: ( opposite Bubblestone Parade) There should definitely be a crossing here before we see any more road-deaths. This is village’s only Post Office, General Store and Dry Cleaners. We’ll just end up all having to use cars because we are frightened to walk. · There should be a Zebra crossing for the Bubblestone Parade especially considering the number of fatalities. · A dropped kerb outside One-Stop is essential for wheelchair users. The alternative route is both tortuous and very hazardous for them. We have already had one fatality. Time between seeing a car approaching and it reaching you when you cross to the traffic island is 3.5 – 6 secs. Think of this if you are in a wheelchair! · Do more to stop selfish drivers parking opposite One Stop and making it dangerous for pedestrians · We may not have a pedestrian crossing on the A225 opposite Bubblestone Road but the potential for an accident is enormous. Near-misses don’t get reported. Pedestrian Crossing: (Pil Way East) Could a pedestrian crossing be placed on the junction of Pil Way East and A225? Pedestrian Crossing: (Pond) There should be a safer means of crossing to the pond for pedestrians. Crossing Station Road opposite Leonard Ave/Collets Well is very hazardous. Crossing by the Woodman to the bus stop is very dangerous as you cannot see traffic coming down Station Rd. (Especially older residents and thoise with children) Better pedestrian crossing points at the pond, especially on the Station Rd When will we get a proper crossing here?(with warning signs in Sation Road perhaps?) Pedestrian Safety · Pedestrian crossings needed especially by station and Russel House school. · Crossing Rye Lane at PW West is very hazardous. Can we make it safer? . Speeding: Shoreham Road Replace the broken speed indicator on Sevenoaks Road and put one on Shoreham Road. They work when they are placed correctly.. It is quite impossible for many homes on Shoreham Road to walk into the village as there is no footpath. Can nothing be done? It is quite unreasonable to residents. Shoreham Road is the link to any walker’s paradise. Please supply a safe footpath along it for pedestrians. · Shoreham Rd traffic must be slowed · VAS sign on Shoreham Rd needed · VAS sign please in Shoreham Road · VAS please on the Shoreham Road · Speed cameras at all entrances to village especially Shoreham Rd · Shoreham Rd traffic danger for emerging traffic from Greenhill · Speeding in Shoreham Rd a menace - more action needed. · More speed checks needed esp Shoreham Rd Speeding: Pilgrims Way West · Increasing speeds on Pilgrims Way West makes coming out of Telston Lane very dangerous. Can we not have a mirror mounted across the road so we can view round the bend? · Speed and blind spot at the end of Telston Lane make it a v. dangerous junction · Telston Lane PWW is a dangerous junction waiting for an accident to happen – I hope its someone from the council and not me! · Traffic exiting Otford towards Polhill is travelling faster than 30mph, but nothing is done, even the new speed warning sign doesn’t slow the traffic – what about getting the police to install speed cameras along that stretch of road? · Speed of vehicles at bottom of Hale Lane – parking at bottom of Hale Lane · Pilgrims Way West is increasingly becoming a speed trap, especially for cars leaving the village. · The ‘National’ speed limit between the end of Pil Way West to London Road is a disgraceful danger to both drivers and pedestrians. · We need a physical way of reducing speeds in Pilgrims Way West and opposite the school. · Traffic emerging from Telston lane to Pilgrims Way West has very limited sight lines (from Otford Village) and I have witnessed several incidents of near misses. · We are only a few doors along from Rye Lane and many of the cars/motorcycles must be doing 50-60mph by the time they reach our house. · Traffic in Pilgrims way West. No control. No police presence. No speed cameras. No traffic calming. Why? · The erection of a flashing 30mph sign in Pilgrim's Way West has done little to reduce traffic speed. It would be helpful if at times there could be some form of speed check - at some time in the morning and evening . Some vehicles travel at 50mph! · Speeding is still a problem, especially on Pilgrim's Way West going out of the village. And what happened to the flashing 40mph warning. · Cars travel too fast along the narrow areas of Pilgrim's Way West - how about a few speed bumps? · PWW is used as a cut through for all and sundry including the huge Muck Away lorries. This could be deterred by width barriers. · Speeding vehicles past Telston Lane going along Pilgrim's Way West becoming a greater problem. Speeding: Pilgrims Way East · Put up a sign warning cars that they will lose their wing mirrors if they speed on Pilgrims Way East and Rye Lane. They may be will take more notice. · Traffic much too fast especially in PWE. It is lethal for pedestrians and other drivers.speed awareness sign needed – no pavement, traffic enters village at 50+ · On Pilgrims Way East there is only one small 30 mph sign. Huge container lorries use it as a short-cut. Speeding: Sevenoaks Road · Speed cameras just before Bubblestone Parade would slow down the Seveoaks racers. · No one seems to care about the young drivers who accelerate from the pond toward Bubblestone Road parade, passing at high speed on both sides of the ‘keep-left’ bollards opposite the Post Office! · Replace VAS on Sevenoaks Road · Fix VAS on Sevenoaks Road asap. · Move 30mph sign on A225 to the VW garage Speeding: Station Road · Station Rd traffic too fast – problems for in/out traffic at R House · The speed limit between the Station and Shoreham road should be raised as it is an A road. · Station exit and Russel Ho entrance – concerned. · Controls needed in Shoreham and Station Rds where no pavements · Hump at Station approach is too near junction. Also problems turning into Hillydeal – has to signal very early to prevent following vehicles overtaking. · Speed of vehicles and morning congestion prevents safe walking to station · Push for auto speed controls at eg Station Rd and Parade · Speed on Station Road is increasing. Apart from busy times (School pick-ups/commuters) when it is 40mph, at all other times it averages 60mph. Speeding: High Street · 20 mph through the High Street makes a lot of sense. · More policing of speeds: 30mph is fast in High St with primary school – but drivers doing more. · 20mph outside the school – before there is a fatality · The pavements near the school are so dangerously narrow for children and parents. We must have a 20mph restriction in the High Street. · Could we not introduce cobbled (‘rumble’) Strips across both ends and the centre of the High Street to remind cars that this is a speed-restricted area? They are cost-effective and very helpful in reducing driver’s speeds. · In the High Street it feels like living on a dual carriageway rather than in a village. Do we have to wait until there is a fatal accident before we control their speed? · The speed of traffic in the High Street must be reduced and pavements widened. · A 30mph limit is appropriate. I would only support 20mph near schools. · Should be a lollipop lady around the school by zebra crossing. Rye Lane: Potential increase in traffic volumes If Dunton Green children come to school in Otford this will become a major problem. · There was a suggestion at one point to close Rye Lane at a point near Dunton Green. · If this development goes ahead traffic on Rye Lane will be unsustainable. · The impact on our school and access to it? · With 500 new homes at Dunton Green, Rye Lane will be unable to support the extra traffic (neither can the Riverhill Roundabout!) · 500 new homes in Dunton Green is going to have serious affects on our roads. It will affect traffic, the school and additional policing. Are we ready for it? What are we doing? · Block Rye Lane at the motorway bridge or we are asking for accidents and road-rage in what is essentially a cart track. · Stop Rye Lane at the Motorway Bridge. Emergency access only. · Is there any way a through-traffic ban could operate in Rye Lane? It is already a rat-run and site traffic and shoppers traffic will make it seriously dangerous to everyone. · Lorries should be banned from Rye lane. · Close Rye Lane at the motorway – make it a no through road. Do it soon before it is too late. · As a ‘volunteer’ community responder, Rye Lane will be impossible to use when the new estate is completed unless traffic from the estate is banned. Speed: General · Average speed in all roads is often well over 30mph. No practical measures seem to have been taken to address the problem. · Speed restrictions are not observed on any of our main roads. More flashing ‘30’ signs are needed. · We feel a speed restriction through the village of 20 mph will discourage many drivers who use Otford as a short-cut. · Speed cameras should be installed as drivers now take no notice of the signs. · Speed restrictions are only of limited use if they are not enforced. · Don’t take restrictions to the point of having chicanes in the High Street. That would be to everyone’s disadvantage. · Going too slow can be as dangerous for following traffic as going too fast. · Some vehicles exceed 60 in 30mph limits. We need more flashing warning lights. Replace VAS on Sevenoaks Road, please. More police patrols needed. · VAS please and width restrictions to reinforce · Why don’t we have those Rural gateways either side of the road like they do in Sussex villages? They certainly tell you that houses are close by and to cut your speed- and they look attractive! · Speeding is a problem not because the limit is too high but because it’s ignored by young drivers & is not enforced. Passive controls such as bumps just irritate. · Education and example set by residents are more important and effective than signs. · More speed restrictions · Not enough done re speeds – police presence needed. · I keep to 30 or below: others don’t esp young drivers, motor bikes, single males. Why should I feel guilty for holding up traffic? · We must object to any road improvements to speed traffic flow. · Speed in Otford is appalling. Why cannot we have a Speed Watch system as they do in Knockholt and Halstead? · Why cannot we introduce chicanes like in Brastead? Something must be done. · Reducing speeds in the village to 20 mph will mean that cycle routes are not necessary. · I disagree with promoting the 20 mph limit Uneven Paving: · The pavement should extend further up Shoreham Rd. · Having already twisted my ankle on the uneven pavements, I strongly feel much of it needs replacing. · Replacing Village Centre pavements will give the chance to beautify this attractive. village centre. It is all looking rather run-down these days. · Pavement surfaces are in an appalling condition throughout the village centre. · Pavements atrocious- not upgraded since 1936. Will cause accident and suing of SDC. Verges need cutting more often. · Our pavements in the High Street are very dangerous for anyone with walking difficulties. · Pavements should be improved. They look a disgrace. Full of cracks and uneven. · Can we consider using the flat cobblestone paving that they have introduced in Sevenoaks? · Our pavements are potentially dangerous for the elderly, partially-sighted and disabled. They need replacement. · Too many uneven paths – try riding a mobility scooter along them and you will soon find out · Paving slabs down from the pharmacy are not only dangerous but an eyesore for the community and visitors to the village. · The state of pavements generally is very poor particularly for older residents. It is apparent that odd holes when filled are unsupervised as tar is plonked (sic) on the hole and not smoothed over. · The pavements are narrow and trying to get in and out of one's drive is a nightmare. Street Lighting · It is absolutely pitch black in much of Otford on starless nights. For those that walk it is dangerous and often frightening. This is particularly so for the many commuters who walk home on winter evenings. · Street lighting would significantly improve safety for Otford pedestrians. · It is of great concern to us – particularly on Station Road when it can be really frightening with car lights coming straight at you and no idea where the kerb is. Something has to be done. · We must have street lighting throughout the village. · Public lighting is needed along the high street and Pilgrims Way West. · Street lighting is important for the safety of the elderly at night. · New residents should not be allowed to influence any decision to provide lighting in the village. · Lighting would make traffic safer for pedestrians. · Street lighting is totally inadequate. Station Road is particularly hazardous for pedestrians in winter. · I think lack of lighting adds to crime rates. · Footpaths should be lit at night · More street lighting · Better lighting – particularly on the footpaths- would help. · Its very dark walking home from the station at night with insufficient street lighting casting confusing shadows · Keep the village lights to a minimum – I moved here to get away from the busy town life with constant 24hr traffic and street lights outside your bedroom window. · Improve the street lighting, it’s a disgrace, too dark to go out at night without getting mugged. · Street lighting – not everywhere but low level lights needed on paths to/from station. · Street lights are needed. · Need lighting on footpaths to stop youth congregating round scout hut area. · Street lighting would help in many ways. · Street lighting: wants whole-village ballot – lack of lighting makes feel unsafe, esp in winter. Women commuters have to choose between chalk pit route in blackness or PWE where no footway. OPC must actually listen to residents’ views rather than dismiss it whenever raised. Safety is more important than aesthetics. · Streetlights needed – especially in roads without footways. · Need lighting from station to PW: children and commuters forced to walk in the dark in winter – can’t see where going unless headlights show. · Footpaths need lighting. · I would like to see more street lighting on the A225 and the High Street. · It is so dark some evenings, you cannot see the kerb when you walk home. This must encourage crime, surely? The PC says there is insufficient money for street lighting and it would detract from the over-all feel of the village. What about safety? · Otford needs street lighting. It is dangerously dark walking down Station Road at night. · Street lighting is urgently needed in Otford. · When I commuted to work (I am now retired) I found the lack of street lighting, particularly from the station to the village, dangerous and unsafe. Parking on Residential Streets · While we do not want yellow lines, commuters parking in nearby streets should definitely be penalised. · There is a significant increase in parking in Bubblestone Rd and The Butts during the week and driving is becoming very dangerous for residents.It has got to the state where I can often not get into my driveway. · It is mainly selfish commuters who cause the most problems. We should put notices on their windscreens. · Inconsiderate parking in High Street. · Leonard Avenue needs residents parking permits · Resident only parking permits in Leonard Avenue · Tudor Drive parking is dangerous, close to driveways – We need restrictions e.g. yellow lines, no parking 10-11.30 · Tudor Dr parking is a problem. Try Early Bird parking scheme at station with lower rates? · This is increasing around roads adjoining the station. It is caused only by selfish commuters and must be stopped · Lack of any action or progress reports from our Parish Highways department. They seem to do nothing. · Ban parking for one hour during the day except for residents. · Tudor Drive is like an all-day car park – residents are unable to get out. · Is anything actually being done about Tudor Drive? · Not enough being done about commuter parking in residential areas when still space at the station car park, despite letters to OPC and SDC. · Tudor Dr parking awful. Yellow lines please – or some other deterrent to station parkers. · Tudor Dr parking is awful: non-residents parking outside house till 8 pm sometimes. Service vehicles etc have problems accessing houses. A disabled relative has stopped visiting weekdays because can’t park near house. · Extend double yellow lines at r’hand side top of Tudor Dr . Commuter parking makes difficult to enter/exit/driveways. · Tudor Drive is getting worse – large/service vehicles can’t access, block road. · Real problem. Parish council ignores requests for action on this. Tudor Dr is too narrow for both-side parking – commuters can get aggressive if asked to move cars. Not pleasant for elderly/female residents to deal with on own. · Tudor Drive parking problem. Restricted to 1 or 2 hours except for residents? Also extend double yellows at top end of Tudor Drive to prohibit parking on approach to bend in the road. · Tudor Dr parking is a major issue. Need yellow lines, no parking 12-2 (e.g.) – as used near Orpington Station. · Ban parking between 12-2 pm except for residents. · Parking in Tudor Dr/Crescent by commuters. Bring in residents parking only and enforce it. · Allow parking on one side of roads only to help emerging vehicles access. · Local roads used as car park in weekdays. All our objections ignored. Service vehicles and access difficult during day. · Inconsiderate parkers on the pavement must be stopped. Pushchairs, prams and wheelchairs cannot use the pavements. · Parking on the grass in The Charn is a disgrace. · Too much parking on pavements makes it dangerous for those with push chairs The Village Car Park: · We need a scheme to restrict the hours of parking (like Borough Green). Only spot checks would be needed occasionally to make the scheme workable. · Why can’t we have ticket machines like everywhere else? It is common practice in almost every town and village and need not be punitive except for those that park there too long! · Has anyone looked at installing a plastic parabolic mirror opposite the car park entrance? It would make exiting the car park very much safer for everyone. · You could treble the amount of spaces for cars and there would still be cries for more! · Introduce car park charges during weekdays. Weekends free. · Restrict parking on timed basis to stop commuters. · Can we stop people parking on the un-marked area of the car park, adjoining the rec fence? They are a continual problem to other drivers. Hatch the area to stop them being so selfish. · Leave the car park as is. It is quite big enough. · The hedge at the entrance to the car park exit needs drastically cutting back – or sprayed with weed killer! · Put up picnic tables for visitors · The hedge on the car park exit needs cutting right back · Charge for using the car park with permits for regular users · Long-term and commuter parking in the village car park should definitely be charged. It is the only way you will release more space for villagers to use. · As a village retailer, parking is a problem for all our customers. · Rail commuters must be prevented from using the village car park. Why else is it full at 9.30 when the three halls are all empty & shops haven’t opened? · The blocked sight-line by the hedge on exiting the car park must be dealt with as an accident is waiting to happen here. · The village car park is totally inadequate when halls are being used. Commuters use it regularly (I know of one man who comes from SO South to do so.) Could we install a barrier which requires a fee to park before 9am? · Stopping all-day parkers would make a big difference. · As High street residents we park over-night. We have had wheel trims stolen as well as wipers. There is no CCTV and the PC do nothing. More must be done. Signage · Unnecessary signage wastes money as there is no proof that it reduces traffic speeds. · There are far too many signs in Otford. We are a country village. And why do we have so many poles saying Don’t Park in the High Street? · We should do as they do in Belgium and simply get rid of traffic signs. The roads should be shared with pedestrians. Who said the car was more important than people who use their legs? · In the village it is very bad. There’s much too much. Particularly around the car park area and it looks a mess. · School drop-offs · Make exit from village car park by left turn only. · Drop-off at school is unavoidable in rural areas. Build better drop-off provision into school designs. · Make schools have better parking facilities to get a one-way system; promote car-sharing. · Parents should walk children to school if live within one mile of school. · Vehicles turning accross on-coming traffic to get into Russel Ho School are the problem. Maybe ban the entrance from Shoreham Road direction – and send all cars round the pond. · Very difficult in PWE when drop-off and rush hour coincide – every day. · Local schools should have own minibuses to collect pupils. Works well elsewhere (Brecon). Press local govt to provide grants for this as a green policy · Row Dow becoming v dangerous – angry drivers at school times, made worse by contractors traffic. · Reduce limit up Row Dow. School times esp dangerous. Consider: exclude large vehicles from Row Dow between 7.30-9.00 a.m. (regular cause of traffic standstill); and one-way system for cars using St Michael’s Dr and Row Dow (to school up Row Dow, from schl down St M Drive). · Street safety is primary concern. When we walk children to Otford Pri Schl – speed of traffic is frightening and crossing roads is hazardous. Need pedestrian crossings at One Stop, all 3 Pond road exits and opposite station. This would slow traffic as well as helping parents with children to cross. · Too many parents, instead of walking, park-up their big cars on the main road when delivering their children. · Parents show a lack of consideration for anyone other than themselves the way they mob-park. · Promote more walking to school. It has been good enough for generations of children. Why are parents indulging in this laziness which causes so much inconvenience to others? · Cannot more children walk to school as we did at their age. It would make a big difference to our traffic problems. · Cars queuing to get into Russel House create a daily road block in Station Road. · Too many parents drive to school. The car park cannot cope with the numbers of cars. · In Shoreham village there is a “Walking Wednesday” ‘walking bus’ when every child has to walk to school – and it shows parents how simple and popular it can be. · Too frightened to walk to school - so have to drive as its safer! · Not good for either school in the village. Russel House is particularly bad. · If people are encouraged to walk rather than drive to school, etc they will be less likely to pop to Sainsbury's or Tesco's for odd items and more likely to extend their walk to the shops in Otford. Also if other shops were encouraged to set up in Otford then existing shops would also benefit. · High Street chaos at school times. · Parents should be able to use their cars for school drop-off. Many come from outside the village. They have as much right to use their cars as anyone else! · My biggest bugbear are those airheads taking little Emily to school in their huge 4x4's. What is so wrong with a school bus and why don't we have one in Otford? · As children walk, cycle and scoot to and from school and parents push buggies and wheelchair users need to travel along the pavements safely without being clipped by speeding/wide vehicles. · We want to encourage people to walk and cycle to school, etc but this will only happen when people feel safe. Station commuters Car Parking · MUST resolve issue of station parkers in residential roads. · Commuters have moved fr Sev Stn to using Otford Stn. Inconsiderate pkg/drvg near Otford Station as result. · Reduce parking fees at station to get commuters parking there instead of in local streets. · Commuters should use the station car park – THAT should be expanded if not big enough – it’s an area out of sight. · Station car park should be free or a minimal charge to reduce on-street parking. DON’T want residents parking permits – this = more urbanisation. · The Station footpath should be properly lit. The Pond: · If we got the system changed to a roundabout, there would be an inevitable slowing down of traffic. · It has become almost impossible to cross any of the roads near the pond with the lack of protected crossing places. Motorway Slip Road · This problem must be resolved. A compromise which can reduce through traffic in Otford must be reached before it is too late and we have no say in its placing. · Support any proposals for slips at J5. · No mention made of it. Pot holes: · These are rarely being ‘keyed in’ and end up recurring in the same place Roundabouts · Install a mini-roundabout at junction of Coombe/PWE/Station Rd – would slow traffic heading into centre and ease exit from PWE esp n-bound/turning right. · Make a Mini roundabout at PWE/Shoreham Rd junction wd make exit from PWE easier and slow traffic on Shoreham Rd – where calming is urgently needed. Sainsbury Roundabout: Could the roundabout at Sainsbury’s be made more attractive with low shrubs and fewer un-necessary arrows? · On the Sainsbury Roundabout, could there be clear road indications showing traffic from the North, which lane to use to enter the supermarket or to go toward Sevenoaks Wide Vehicles: · Wide vehicles should be banned from entering the High Street unless they are delivering · No lorries in village High Street. They are too wide · Wide vehicles along the high street are a great concern when walking to school with my children. · It is totally unacceptable to have so many wide lorries using the High Street as through-traffic. · PWE traffic – HGVs, foreign, using sat nav. Also traffic going to Brands Hatch. All dangerous for pedestrians. · HGVs and coaches ignore advisory signs. Trees, driveways, fences all damaged over the years. Need better enforceable restrictions. · Stop HGVs using Tudor Drive · Size of vehicles in High St is getting out of hand. They are not delivering. · Wide vehicles are more of a problem in PWE · Wide vehicles major problem in PWE. · PWE should be 20 mph max. · Wide vehicles in PWE · HGVs on Pilg Way East despite “Not Suitable” sign. · HGVs on PWE are far too large for this ancient country route. · There should be clear width restrictions on Pilgrims Way West as well as Pilgrims Way East. KCC are just not interested – they do not have the resources to enforce the 6’ 6” width restriction on PWW nor the speed limits through the village. · Too much heavy traffic in the high street unconnected with Otford Builders. · The sizes of deliveries to Otford Builders are now damaging the kerbs – and houses of the High Street. Some sort of restriction is needed. · Whilst it is appreciated that OBM's and public houses have to have deliveries, heavy vehicles should be banned from The Horns onward. Footways · Lack of footway on PW and Shoreham Rd (part) – dangerous. · No footway Shoreham Rd north. · Lack of footway on PWE combined with speed of traffic = very unsafe · No footways Shm Rd and PWE · Footways in PWE and RowDow would encourage walking to school · Footways from Shoreham Rd to High St are broken, uneven, dangerous. · Pilgrims Way East – a footway is desperately needed. · PWE- Tudor Rd: overhanging branches a danger. · PWE footways v dangerous; traffic too fast – enforce 30 limit. General · (One response included page on car-free town in Germany – asked why not here? Ed.) · Put up attractive Welcome to Otford signs at entrances to village. · Must discourage using Otford as a cut-through. · All the proposed new developments near our village will mean our current recourses cannot cope. Otford could become simply a ‘through-road and lose its village identity. · Should be a lollipop lady around the school by zebra crossing.