Tonbridge Line Commuters (TLC) looks after the interests of public transport users, both railways and buses, and our committee have recently considered Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council’s Tonbridge Town Centre Transport Strategy report which was submitted to the Joint Transportation Board on 10 June 2013. Prompted by the report proposals, we have submitted ideas for alterations to the location and use of bus stops and bus stands in the Upper and Lower Tonbridge High Street. These suggestions are set out below. We believe that bus travel is a vital resource to residents of Tonbridge and its surrounding areas, and the proposals, if implemented, which would be at minimal cost, would do much to ease access to and from the town centre.
Northbound bus stops at Tonbridge Station
Buses travelling northbound stop at different stops according to the ultimate direction they are going, with London Road buses using the stop outside Lidl’s, and the remainder using the stopping area on the station forecourt. To combine the two stops is logical and would avoid the considerable confusion which currently exists for bus users wishing to travel to the north end of the High Street. The stop in the lay-by outside Lidl is already used as a stand for buses terminating on services 218 and 219, and is consequently often occupied by stationary buses, passengers sometimes having to walk into the main carriageway to board buses in service, a dangerous activity at times. We believe this stop should be used only as an alighting point for buses terminating at either the Station or the Castle.
Southbound bus stops at Tonbridge Castle
Buses travelling southbound stop at two separate stops, one outside the ‘Rose and Crown’, which doubles as a bus stand, and another outside Barclays Bank. We believe these two stops should be combined to a location outside Barclays Bank, in particular to avoid the confusion which currently exists for those wishing to travel to Tunbridge Wells Hospital, whose buses use both stops. The ‘Rose and Crown’ stop can then be confined to use as a stand. In the existing Bank stop layby there is enough space for two separate stops/shelters if this is considered necessary, the single taxi space at the north end being rarely if ever used by taxis.
Extra stops in Tonbridge High Street
We believe there is also a case for adding extra stops at the north end of the High Street to serve shops in the ‘Ivy House’ area.