Observations from the Roadside: It was a wonderful sight. On 11 April, as the 6pm deadline for the photocall with The Courier outside the Mission Hall approached, people emerged from all directions.
Some walked up from their homes in small groups, others arrived in cars from Hartlake Road and the far end of Three Elm Lane, quietly sidling up to join the rapidly growing group. I counted at least 55 people outside the hall, as passing drivers looked bemused at this cheerful surge of people lining the pavement.
It felt like something that everyone wanted to see for so long—for decades, according to some longer-term residents—and it was actually happening.
The gathering was a show of solidarity of our determination to have the Highways Agency implement better speeding restrictions in the hamlet. Every age group was represented at the demonstration and placards were held aloft to show that we mean business. The story was printed in the 15 April edition of The Courier. It was flagged up on the front page and reported in full on page 5.
Presentation of Petition: At the Parish Council meeting later that evening another 60 residents, mostly new faces, packed out the Mission Hall. It was bursting at the seams, with some people left standing. They were all there to witness the petition demanding more road safety measures being presented to HPC Chair David Carey to rapturous applause. The petition was organised by Sherenden Park residents Tim Dale and Viv Lawes, and was signed by almost every household in Golden Green—some 230 in total.
Residents were also there to back the motion, proposed by Clls Nick Collins and Ed Bright, that HPC should ‘support the residents of Golden Green in their wish to implement measures to reduce the incidence of speeding traffic on Three Elm Lane’ (amended at the meeting to include Hartlake Road and Victoria Road).
They were not disappointed. The council carried the motion unanimously, and residents were given the opportunity to contribute their observations and recollections of the impact of speeding traffic over the years. TMBC Cllr Howard Rogers was also in attendance at the meeting and made an excellent speech pledging his support. The issue will now be considered by KCC. Matthew Balfour, KCC Member for Malling Rural East and Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, has pledged to visit GG with a road engineer to observe the speeding problem. The aim is to identify road safety measures that will be most effective.
Gathering the signatures took place over several weeks and thanks must be extended to Elaine Abbs and Terry Gibb for their help. Also a special thank you to Anne Waddingham for coordination and communication, and to Doug Newhouse for fine-tuning the press release. Viv Lawes and Tim Dale
Tell us your story: During the meeting, Michael Nobes poignantly described encountering a tragic motor bike accident that happened near The Bell 35 years ago, when the young biker died in his arms. While Tim and Viv were collecting signatures last month, many people had their own stories to tell of near misses and collisions in GG. And untold numbers of pets have been killed or injured here. Send your experiences to The Hamlet (contact details overleaf) by 31 May—they will be collated and we’ll make sure that Matthew Balfour sees them.
How else can you help? Join Speedwatch to monitor traffic speeds: Thursday 26 May 6.30pm Speedwatch schemes help community volunteers reduce excessive speeds on their local roads. A short training session will take place this month.
The more volunteers we have in GG, the more effective it will be. Contact Howard Rogers (850329 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.