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AT 2 Mayfield Road
The plan is to keep the formal parts of the meeting to a minimum. We wish this event to be social with the opportunity for residents to meet each other and chat.
David Scott will also be there and will provide a briefing on his proposals for a Driverless pod system for Tunbridge Wells. Driverless systems are appearing in the news with increasing frequency. David has research various systems and is now heading a town assessment of systems. He also wants to hear your views how this next stage in personalised transportation can be integrated into the town to add benefits for all.
Report of the RTW Town Forum Meeting 22 January 2015
7.30pm, Tuesday 24th February at 2 Mayfield Road
Every resident of Boyne Park, Mayfield Road, Oakdale Road and Somerville Gardens is invited to 2 Mayfield Road to meet other residents for lively and entertaining discussions covering all matters relating to the four roads and Tunbridge Wells including the Boyne Park Association AGM.
David Scott will be there to answer questions about “Driverless Pods – A solution to the chronic congestion in Tunbridge Wells?” – see below.
It’s time to solve our congestion problem!
David Scott – a Tunbridge Wells Councillor who lives in Somerville Gardens and is a member of BPRA, comments:
Can futuristic technology give an answer? After extensive research Cllr David Scott is pointing a way forward with a solution that could be available sooner than you might think. David believes driverless pods can provide an answer and is calling for an early assessment of the idea as a way of overcoming problems like the congestion on the Pembury Road. The pods – designed with two double bench seats with room also for a wheelchair, pushchair, shopping or luggage could be the vehicle of choice.
[Click on the various links or pictures to read or see more]
Since 2011 similar pods have operated at Heathrow Terminal 5 between the business car park and the Terminal and they have proven to be a tremendous success. They are battery powered and run on normal tyres along simple guideways – comparable to cycle paths – guided by lasers and a central computer. Average waiting time at Heathrow is under ten seconds. The pods then travel at speeds up to 25 mph to their destination. At this speed it will take less than ten minutes to get from the hospital to the station.
David believes the solution for Tunbridge Wells has to consider the best options in each of three areas: 1. The guideways – the routes in and out of Tunbridge Wells; 2. The management and guidance technology; and 3. The pods or vehicles. Each are developing at different rates. Any solution must take this into consideration to build for the future as each component develops.
He says: “We need more capacity. We need to expand the routes in and out of Tunbridge Wells. These are our town’s arteries and they are congested”. The pods travel on very lightweight guideways, that can be easily designed to merge with the town’s fabric. The new guideways will double the potential capacity along the Pembury Road with minimal impact on the surrounds.
The technology isn’t quite there yet to allow driverless cars on standard streets – and that wouldn’t solve the congestion problem anyway. At Heathrow the pods are controlled by a central computer. Each pod has lasers to ensure it and the computer knows exactly where it is and controls it to its selected destination. As technology develops the pods can be enhanced to add even greater flexibility to take passengers the last few yards/metres right to the door. Experimental work on this is already in progress at Milton Keynes.
You can choose whether to travel alone or as a group. They are sent to each pick-up point using a passenger call button or by the computer anticipating demand – much like taxis anticipating the arrival of a train. The passenger selects a destination – as you would a floor in a lift – and the computer controls the pod to take it directly there, by-passing other pod stops along the route.
David is calling on the public to support a full feasibility study of driverless vehicles for Tunbridge Wells. David asks the Borough Council, KCC, National and European government to look towards financing this much cheaper, more effective and environmentally friendly solution to the congestion problem that is slowly strangling Tunbridge Wells.
Alastair Tod Chairman and Alex Green a Deputy Chairman. Alastair was the Chairman of the Civic Society and Alex is Manager of the Trinity Art Centre. Cllr Bob Backhouse was re-elected to the post of Deputy Chairman
Key discussion items:
- Cultural Hub progress
- Green Network – soon to come – all-inclusive maps of walking and cycle path
- Cinema site hording
- Assembly Halls update
- Parking strategy
- investigation of the Chalybeate Spring in the Pantiles
See full report Forum – 2014 Nov
The Town Forum is aiming to create a register and booklet of all green spaces, walks and cycle paths in and around the town. Can you help?
A map of the town can be found at:Town map (2 pages)
Please send details of any of your favourite walks, cycle paths or green areas to email@example.com
Complete the Town Forum’s questionnaire:
The Assembly Theatre, new council offices, Gatwick and many other topics covered. Read all about it.
There are social drinks followed by the AGM and then a talk by:
‘Putting Water back in the Wells. Building on the Brand’
There are exciting developments and ideas being being put forward and developed to enhance Tunbridge Wells. Proposals could transform the 5ways (by the clock tower) as a communal space. In addition there are ideas spread right across our town.
Listen to Michael and have the opportunity to discuss and influence these at the BPRA meeting on Tuesday 25th. Click to read more and for the agenda.