6. A Sustainable Economy for Otford 6 : A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY FOR OTFORDThis section is about making sure Otford has all the things it needs to survive and work as a community. 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) LIAISING TO IMPROVE THE BUS SERVICEThese were all the verbatim comments added to the questionnaire: (We would point out that these are individual comments and do not necessarily represent the views of the majority of respondents) Question 6: a SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY FOR OTFORD Busses: · The bus time-table needs to be simplified. It is difficult to understand and the circular routes are confusing. · The bus timetable from Sevenoaks in the late afternoon is quite inadequate · Bus service is useless at present. Last bus Sev to Otford leaves Sev bus station at 4.30. Can take 90 mins to get home from Bluewater. · Provide passes/discounts to improve use of public transport. · Need to be more flexible in their house/street pick-ups for the elderly · There is no bus after 7pm. · Why is there no bus after 5.15 from Sevenoaks to Otford? · People do not realise how important an improved bus service would be for the many of us who are unable to drive. · Better bus service would encourage less use of cars · An early morning bus to Sevenoaks station would be a good start · There needs to be a greater incentive to use busses to Sevenoaks – or we will loose them altogether. What can you do to get people to use the bus? (It takes 50 mins to walk back and no bus in that time.) · Bus services to Sevenoaks are very poorly managed and should be reviewed with no service after 4.30 from Sevenoaks it is impossible for Otford residents to get jobs in Sevenoaks and rely on buses after this time. · A bus service late into the evening. · We seem to need a bus service that runs later in the evening. People who work later in Sevenoaks for instance cannot easily get back here without a car. · A bus service running to connect with trains. · Buses need to be more frequent. · Perhaps KCC will one day be imaginative enough to introduce a local tram service. These are proving very successful in the other parts of the UK where they have been re-introduced and of course are a principal form of transport in every country in Mainland Europe. Wouldn't it be wonderful if one day there was a tram service linking Sevenoaks to Otford, Kemsing, Shoreham, etc. The greenest form of public transport imaginable and popular with people of all ages. Park & Ride: · The old service was an enormous help to everyone in Otford. Why can’t it be re-introduced? · Very important. · Restore park/ride system as earlier by gas works. · Park and ride was fantastic esp for market days. Now visit Sev rarely. Why can’t former P/R park be re-opened? Staff were always so helpful. · Worked before – use very small local buses. Esp good in PWE where pedestrians are cut off by lack of footway. · Could provide alternative parking for commuters who take up local road space · Park & Ride in Sevenoaks Rd is a failed experiment – find out why before pushing for more of the same – waste of time, money and space · Park & Ride is a very good idea. It should not have been abandoned. · What an excellent idea. Follow it up! · What a good idea to re-introduce Park & Ride. It was never properly tested in the first place. It would help Sevenoaks with parking problems. May be a special park-and-ride to Blue Water could be introduced once a week? · Revive the old park & ride · Better park and ride – better bus service – early mornings, late evenings would be a good start. More mini-buses, more often – it’s supposed to be a public service, at the moment its neither, only used by school children and OAPs · Would be a great asset to many. - people going via Sevenoaks to London by train: To Sevenoaks on Market Day would be very helpful to many. · A great potential asset to everyone in the village. · A park & ride to connect with the Bluewater service would be really helpful. · A ‘shopping’, park-&-ride to Sainsbury's & to Tesco's. · A park & ride to connect with Sevenoaks Hospital. Sheltered Accommodation · There is a very important need for this in Otford Homes for first-time buyers · Keeps a good social structure/mix of ages – will also help local businesses to survive. · Too many housing developments are changing village character. · Otford will lose its character with any more development esp as school is planning to expand. · Not at the expense of using Green Belt or infill land. · Yes but not at expense of more developments such as the one near the station. · Our children want to buy in Otford but cannot afford to live here. · We would certainly apply for a first-time buyer home as we cannot afford to buy in Otford even though we love it. · Affordable housing should be available on the free market not just provided by the housing associations – downsizing by the elderly is impossible Web site: · I think the web site can be much improved to promote Otford to visitors. Additional Parking: · Will just attract more visitors · Beware eroding the village atmosphere. · It would probably be at expense of green space. · More car parking spaces will just discourage walkg/cyclng. · Use existing parking better by walking when possible.. · We would have enough parking space if central car park were not used by all-day commuter parking. Why do you allow this? Ridiculous that people cannot park to shop. · We must address a better solution for commuter parking if they are not going to clog our village car parks and near-by roads. · Living in the High Street we really struggle some times to find a parking space. There are many young couples with cars who have the samedifficulty. The problem is not going to go away without help from the parish. · The last thing the village needs is more parking space and I would have thought that Otford already gets all the visitors, day-trippers, hikers, etc that it can cope with. We need to discourage people taking their cars into the village and providing more parking space is not the way to do that. · Not more parking please. We have enough. · Do not increase car numbers in the car park. Make a charge for using the car park and stop these people who park there all day. More Visitors: · Promoting Otford may bring more money into the village but at the cost of additional traffic and pollution and the need for extra amenities. Developments · Infrastructure needs to be improved – OPC should work on that rather than just opposing development per se. · Concerned about urbanisation of village: new housing, road signs, pedestrian barriers, etc. · Sustainable housing is vital – affordable housing essential, don’t give way to namby-pamby attitudes. · Already complete over-development in village esp Well Rd and Shoreham Rd. · Need better planning controls re permitting Tudorbethan monstrosities. New ideas · Village should help fund a cappuccino machine for charity café – boost business, focal point for villagers (so no need to go to Sev for decent cup of coffee). Also allow outside tables at front – make it inviting. · Elderly people should be encouraged to car-share.