Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Highways & Footpaths Committee December


Notes of a Meeting held on 13 December 2016 at the Jessel Room

Present: Cllrs David Boniface (Chairman), Mrs Angela Broom, Alan Foster, Sean Gilder, Mrs Susan Newsam and Guy Sutton.

 Apologies: Cllrs Phil Kirkby..

Declarations of Interest.  None.

Footpaths – PROW

WC28 and WC30 near Tattlebury.   The committee noted that part of WC28 and the whole of WC30 have been ploughed.  The Clerk is to be asked to contact the owner of the field with the request that the line of both paths be restored.  Post meeting note:  The Clerk has spoken to the landowner who clearly understands his responsibility; he is going to run a tractor along these PROWs so that the ground will be flattened sufficiently.

WC25 near Lidwells House.  The Clerk has brief Pete Watkins to repair a broken stile.


A262 Station Road.   With reference to previous proposals to establish a path on a parcel of land, a swale, on the South verge along A262 behind the line of bollards west of the big ‘Reduce Speed Now’ sign.  As previously reported, KCC does not own the Land in question.  However the ownership of the land has now been established.  H&F Committee recommends that Council approaches the landowner for permission to establish a (permissive?) path across the swale.

Highways and Parking

Capel Parish Roads Strategy Plan.  The committee noted a report from Capel that had been drawn up as a result of the Capel Neighbourhood Development Plan.  The problems experienced at Capel are in some ways similar to those in Goudhurst, but there are no practicable or affordable solutions available.

The lane North and East of Whites, Bedgebury Road.  The owner of Whites has asked the Parish Council to help confirm what is stated in a letter, that KCC accept responsibility for maintaining the surface of this lane. The Clerk has had discussions with the owners of Whites and has recommended that they approach Kent Highways since Highways has indicated in writing that they are responsible for the lane in question.

Blue HGV signs on the A262 approaches to Goudhurst.  Council has been approached by Oxfordshire County Council Highways (OCCH) where they have a village with similar HGV problems of traffic congestion created by HGVs.  The Clerk is asked find out from Kent Highways when the A262 HGV signs on the Goudhurst approaches were installed.

Speed Indicator Device (SID).  Cllrs Foster Boniface have met with KCC Highways Engineers, and identified suitable sites. They are:

– on Balcombes Hill by the junction with Tiddymotts Lane subject to suitable engineering information.

– on the south side of Cranbrook Road west of Beaman Close where the school is located. The pole will accommodate a SID facing in either direction.

– on the west side of North Road on the grass area in front of Mr David Hill’s house. This pole will also accommodate a SID facing in either direction.  (Mr Hill is very happy to have the pole on his land but GPC should write to him confirming that it is with his permission and will be removed whenever Mr Hill requires).

This will give altogether five brackets on which the SID can be mounted in rotation. The budget for this has been agreed for the financial year beginning April 2017. There was discussion as to whether the extra cost of a Speed Recorder could be justified and it was thought that the money for this could possibly come out of the £17K allocated for the Neighbourhood Development Plan as this additional information on traffic speed and frequencies would be of value to the authors of that plan.

Beware Pedestrians signs on B2079 Bedgebury Road.  Chairman, Highways and Footpaths Committee will be in touch with Kent Highways with regard to how many signs are needed and where they should be placed.

B2079 Lady Oak Lane Cycle Path.  It was recommended that Council re-visit the idea of the off road cycle path alongside Lady Oak Lane in the area of the Bedgebury Forest.   Council’s proposal should initially be sent to the TWBC Economic Development Officer – Regeneration and Transport.

(Subsequent to this meeting, Cllr Guy Sutton will attend the Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest Master plan meeting on 17 January 2017 to represent Council).

Hop Pickers Line.

Cllrs David Boniface and Mrs Susan Newsam with the Clerk had attended the Hop Pickers Line Interpretation and Waymarking Scheme at Paddock Wood on 22 November.   Clarification had been obtained on the task of submitting local listing applications which Cllrs Mrs Broom and Boniface had agreed to undertake.

Expenditure Budget Forecast; Highways & Footpaths Committee.

It was noted that the Highways and Footpaths Budget proposals for 2017-18 have been agreed and will include sufficient funding for the Speed Indicator Device (SID) project.

Goudhurst Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)

The committee noted the report (not seen by Council) on the recent meeting of the NDP Traffic Group which had identified that it required the following data:

– Current and historic volumes of traffic and growth of traffic levels

– Documented traffic and transport issues

– Pedestrian paths and cycle ways

– Public transport facilities and their usage

– On street and off street car parking

This was thought by this Committee to be a fairly comprehensive list.  The Objectives of the group included information about possible enhancements to do with road safety, traffic management etc. as well as any new pedestrian and car routes.

The objectives reported by the NDP Traffic group are:

– managing the impact of large vehicles

– understanding changes in parking requirements.

The NDP Traffic group has allocated tasks to a number of individuals and this Committee decided that we will invite these individuals who have certain responsibilities to come to the next Highways & Footpaths Committee meeting to discuss with them how they can take forward their particular tasks. On the question of the vision which the NDP might have for traffic for Goudhurst in the future, it could well adopt the Capel Traffic Report subtitled  “Right Speeds, Right Vehicles  for the Right Roads”.   Basically, the ambition is to restrain traffic to levels/speeds that the roads can comfortably accommodate.

These Minutes are subject to approval at the next meeting of Council

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

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