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Tom Tugendhat condemns Tonbridge High Street closures

ByKatie May Nelson

An MP has called on a gas company to postpone a series of engineering works.

SGN are planning on carrying out the works which would see the closure of Tonbridge High Street between Bordyke and Portman Park

The work is planned to go ahead between Monday, September 9 and Monday, November 22.

Tom Tugendhat (8109858)
Tom Tugendhat (8109858)

The diversion route would take traffic along the A26 Hadlow Road and The Ridgeway.

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling has joined councillors in calling on the gas company to change their plans or postpone them.

He said: “There are many traffic hotspots in Tonbridge and closing the High Street outside Tonbridge School will only exacerbate this further.

The proposed diversion route which will be in place during gas works in Tonbridge(15647390)
The proposed diversion route which will be in place during gas works in Tonbridge(15647390)

"The timing provides no respite from High Street works for residents in Tonbridge”

Nicolas Heslop, leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council said:“We are keen to promote the economic regeneration in Tonbridge High Street, but this relies on road closures being reduced.

"I am concerned that the length of time these works will last would take us into the Christmas period, affecting businesses in the town.

"If they do proceed, I hope that SGN will agree to extended working hours to manage congestion best."

In a joint statement Richard Long and Michael Payne, Kent County Councillors for Tonbridge, said: "We fully appreciate the need for SGN to undertake these gas main replacement works before March 2020.

"However, SGN has now apparently failed for the second time to engage with Kent County Council and other parties in an orderly, timely and responsible manner about this work.

"Furthermore, their proposed diversion route along The Ridgeway is patently unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles and for these reasons we have requested that SGN postpone this work.”

Read more:All the latest news from Tonbridge

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