Traffic counts have been taking place at a busy retail park in Kent which is regularly gridlocked with shoppers.
The work has been focused on key junctions on the North Farm industrial estate, near Tunbridge Wells.
It is part of the North Farm Traffic Study, which is due to be completed by June when recommendations for solutions will be presented to council officials.
Traders have been calling for urgent action to ease traffic congestion amid fears customers are being driven away.
They say problems have escalated since John Lewis and Marks & Spencer opened flagship stores on the estate before Christmas.
What is the problem here, really? We can see that the local residents aren’t mentioned here, so they are probably understanding that this retail park is providing jobs at a time when one isn’t exactly falling over vacancies. Either that, or the council just don’t regard their opinions as being important. Probably a good portion of both.
At a time when the economy is on its arse, we mustn’t mistake the cries from the traders that there are too many people coming into the estate, their concern is that it is too difficult for customers to get on site, so they may not bother trying.
I have a feeling that the council will see the problem as being too many people are trying to get in. Calls to ease congestion would, in a sensible world, result in works to improve access and flow by increasing capacity on the roads and/or by introducing a park and ride scheme that is cheap, or even free and sponsored; it is in the interests of the business on site, after all. Thereby encouraging people to come, spend their money and ensure that a local success story continues.
But let us not forget that this is the country where this happens:
Why do I have a funny feeling that the solution will be the introduction or ramping up of parking charges, the construction of traffic calming measures and other things that make people want to stay away, rather than make it easier for people to get in?