Otford

Here at Olley Design we have been thinking about the problems posed by vehicular traffic in Otford for a long time. We live in a neighbouring village but visit Otford a lot – as drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Otford traffic seems to have increased hugely in recent years (months even), the continual expansion of shopping and businesses in the Vestry Estate/Bat & Ball area seems to be fuelling this, with heavy traffic seeming to come especially from the north-west  via Otford High Street – a situation likely to get much worse with the number of new homes being built around Halstead and beyond.

Most recently, I experienced the problem of crossing the roads at busy times when accompanying my daughter to Otford Primary School when she was working as a teacher. Attempting to cross the Sevenoaks Road proved challenging; just as soon as the road appeared to be coming clear another (surprisingly fast-moving) vehicle would zoom around the corner. Older people particularly find it difficult to get across the village roads.

There are sensible proposals for a 20mph speed limit in the village, combined with traffic-calming and other installations. Because of very narrow footways (and roads), we believe a more radical solution is needed in the longer term. This is where the idea of a link road between Pilgrims’ Way West and Sevenoaks Road (and a additional new village car park) offers huge long-term benefits to the village.

The two drawings below show how an Otford link road could work (click on the drawings to view at enlarged size).

Benefits of an Otford Link Road

• Allow for a new village car park on the link road’s north side, behind Otford Primary School playing fields

• The High Street would become access-only to vehicles

• From OBM to the Pond would be pedestrian-priority, creating a wide pedestrian-friendly boulevard

• The north and west sides of Otford Pond (two thirds of the pond’s circumference) would be pedestrianised, enabling residents and visitors alike to stroll from High Street to pond traffic-free (access to shops such as pharmacy could still be allowed, for example by disabled drivers)

• The Pond’s south-east carriageway would become two-way traffic

OBM traffic would no longer be passing the Primary School (indeed with the new link road they might be persuaded to travel via the Bat & Ball junction for those deliveries that might currently involve Pilgrims’ Way East)

• The existing Otford Village Car Park would still be available, especially for disabled vehicle access to the halls, playing fields, shops and pubs etc

• Existing zebra crossing by Otford Primary School would be removed along with its associated clutter, railings etc

• Main village section of A225 limited to 20mph with the most central section south of Otford Pond possibly ramped and with a pedestrian crossing (with island) on Sevenoaks Road

• Serpentine nature of Otford Pond road layout would have calming effect on traffic speed.

The two drawings below show how an Otford link road could work (click on the drawings to view at enlarged size).

Proposal for new link road from Pilgrims Way West to Sevenoaks Road

Proposal for new link road from Pilgrims Way West to Sevenoaks Road to reduce traffic in High Street

 

 

Otford close up of Pond area roads

Proposal for Otford – close up of Pond area