News

Cycling is better for the environment

Cycling lowers pollution, reduces congestion, increases property pricesCycling is also much better for the environment than driving. More than a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by cars and other vehicles,6 whereas cycling is generally considered to be a zero-emissions form of transport. Even when emissions from production and maintenance of bikes are taken into account, the emissions associated with cycling are significantly lower. And if UK citizens cycled to work with the same frequency as people do in the Netherlands, for example, where more than a quarter of journeys are made by bike, carbon dioxide outputs could reduce by more than 1,500 tonnes per year.

Estimates suggest that around 12,000 premature deaths could be prevented over the next 10 years if the UK and Scottish governments meet their targets for increasing the number of journeys made on foot or by bicycle. 

Choosing to ride a bike instead of driving can also help to reduce congestion in urban areas – almost four in ten people acknowledge that many of the two-mile journeys they currently make in a car could instead be made by bike.

 

Brake, Cycling -The facts 2018

#BikeSmart

Drive slowly

Give yourself time to spot danger and reactDrive slowly in places where people live

The vast majority (77%) of cyclist casualties are from incidents on roads with 30mph speed limits.15 At this speed, cars travel an average of 23 metres (or 5.75 car lengths) before stopping, and anyone hit by a car travelling at 30mph has a 20% chance of dying.

Driving more slowly will give you more time to spot danger and more time to react. It also means you can stop a lot more quickly. 20mph is the right speed in places where people live, work and play. Slow traffic makes more people want to walk and cycle in their communities.

Slow down on rural roads.

Cyclists are also vulnerable on roads outside towns and cities. In 2016, 59 cyclists died in collisions in rural areas, while 43 died in urban areas.

Many crashes involving bikes on rural roads are because drivers are travelling too fast.

Slowing down will help you to take sharp bends more safely and you will be more likely to spot riders in front of you. Brake

 

Brake:

  • Cycling – The facts, 2018
  • Smart drivers are Bike Smart, 2018

#BikeSmart

Cycling is one of the healthiest forms of transport

Cycling improves fitness, boosts brainpower, increases wellbeingCycling is one of the healthiest, cheapest and most environmentally friendly forms of transport available, with the benefits to public health, congestion and the economy widely acknowledged.

Cycling is an excellent form of exercise and can help with both weight loss and physical fitness. It also reduces the risk of serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease later in life, and can contribute to higher overall personal wellbeing. Cycling can boost brain power too, by increasing blood flow to the brain by around 30–40%.

Even cyclists in busy cities report better lung health. Riders can experience five times lower pollution levels than drivers, because air is more able to circulate around them when they are riding, compared with being stuck in a vehicle. Cyclists who use quieter routes away from busy traffic see even greater benefits.

Brake, Cycling -The facts 2018

#BikeSmart

Bike Smart

Road Safety Week - Bike SmartFor Road Safety Week 2018, we are shouting out about the safety of those on two wheels, and encouraging everyone to be Bike Smart.

Cycling’s popularity has really taken off in the last few years and people are making longer trips on average than ever before. As well as being a fun hobby, cycling is an excellent way to stay fit and commute short distances, and it’s much better for the environment than many other forms of transport. However, cyclists are also one of the most vulnerable groups of people on our roads, and despite efforts to improve safety, the number of cyclists killed or injured has remained shockingly high for the last 15 years.

Will tree protection stop St. Stephens Walk plans?

Visual from proposal

A tree protection order confirmed during Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee yesterday evening (14th November 2018) may prevent a plans for accommodation for profoundly disabled adults being permitted.

The tree protection order, ABC case reference 18/TPO/0008, protects 15 trees on the site boundaries of Land East of Lantern House, many of which are shown as being removed in documents accompanying a planning application for 16 apartments for disabled residents and 6 for staff (ABC Case reference 18/00608/AS). The tree protection order was made in July but was put before the Planning Committee for confirmation.

South Ashford Community Forum included a comment in their representation on the proposal expressing concern regarding the limited amount of open/garden space within the development.

KMFRA Survey and Council Tax consultation

Safety and wellbeing plan update 2018

Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority

Chairman’s introduction

Chairman KMFRAThis year we wanted to take the opportunity to give local people an update on the work we do and the range of services we provide. Please take a few minutes to read the information below, or look at the infographic on this page (use the Zoom link to see a much larger version) and fill this short survey and consultation* about next year’s Council Tax.

As customers and taxpayers, we always aim to provide you with value for money and the best service we can. Though thankfully I know that many of you have never needed to call on us in a crisis, I hope you are reassured that we will always be there when you need us.

Like everyone in the public sector, finances are tight, but we have managed to make significant savings of around £26m since 2010, much of which has been re-invested in our frontline service. We also work closely with police, ambulance, Kent County Council, Medway Council and others to share expertise and resources and deliver efficient services to keep the public safe.

The Home Office inspection team will be here in the New Year and we expect to hear the outcome of that in 2019. If you want to read more about our work and plans please have a look at our Customer and corporate plan and you can also sign up to email alerts about incidents in your area or to get safety advice.

Nick Chard
Chairman – Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority (more…)

Halstow Way development application

View from open space

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has submitted a planning application for the construction of 17 affordable rented apartments on the Noakes Meadow public open space.

The application follows a consultation that we reported in February
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2018/02/20/halstow-way-redevelopment-consultation/

The proposals have changed in that the number and mix of properties has changed

  • from 14 x 1 bedroom and 7 x 2 bedroom, totalling 21
  • to 6 x 1 bedroom, 7 x 2 bedroom and 4 x 3 bedroom, totalling 17

The total potential occupancy has increased from 56 to 60 people.

The position of the block has been adjusted so that the access road now runs between the rear of St. Simon’s Church and the block.

We will publish more details when we have had the opportunity to study the application, but the application addresses all issues arising from past use of the land. The major remaining issue appears to be whether it is acceptable for ABC to use this rare opportunity to build truly affordable housing even though it will result in some loss of open space.

The ABC Planning Case reference is 18/01508/AS
http://planning.ashford.gov.uk/Planning/details.aspx?systemkey=110796

We have as with all planning applications we are notified of for South Ashford posted basic details under
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/category/site/planning-notice/

East Stour Park Development Proposal

Boundary of development site

East Stour Park site

Please click on any image in this post to enlarge it then click the back button in your browser to return to this page.

As reported by South Ashford on 19 September, Quinn Estates have submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Request for the site between the Romney Marsh Road, and the East Stour, to the South of Norman Road.

This article adds more information regarding the proposal and looks at the history of the site in relation to development.

The Screening request indicates the intention to construct up to 300 flats in blocks up to 10 stories high.

The proposal has been dubbed East Stour Park by the developer.

Proposal

Parameter Plan

To date only the EIA Screening request has been published, but documents accompanying the request give an indication of the scope of the proposed development.

The documents show that the development is to comprise four blocks each with varying storey heights

The largest and highest block is proposed to be at the south end of the site and will have a maximum of ten stories, facing onto Norman Road, reducing to .seven storeys. The second and third blocks will vary from seven down to five storeys, whilst the northernmost block will be of five and four storeys, nearest to the Riverside Inn. (more…)

Options for changes to hospital and local care services survey

Following our post regarding listening events to discuss potential options for changing hospital and local care services in east Kent, alongside the public meetings and other engagement activity, Transforming health and social care in Kent and Medway have a survey open until 25 November for you to share your views on the current proposals. Please read this information about the potential changes before completing the survey.

If you are attending one of the listening events, information given may help you to complete the survey.

The survey link is: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/EastKentNHS2018/

(more…)