Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 17th July 2019
VENUE: Rusthall club
TIME: 19.30 hours

Committee members present: Chair: Alex Britcher, Secretary: Angela Funnell, Membership Secretary: Sue White, Website: Nigel Suckling, General Committee Member: Chris Perry

1. Apologies for Any Absences

Apologies were received from the following committee members: Beryl Woodhall (Vice Chair), Bjorn Simpole (Treasurer) Carol Mellors (General Committee Member) and Joseph Baldwin (General Committee Member).

2. Welcome from the Chair

Alex Britcher welcomed everyone to the meeting and reminded that the RVA is a community forum, non-religious, non-political. A safe, friendly and supportive environment to discuss and share information of relevance to the village and the community.

3. Rusthall RVA Photographic Competition

The 2019 Rusthall Village Association photographic competition is now open for entries. As usual, there are 2 categories – under 16's and over 16's. Photos should have been taken in the last year (September 2018 to September 2019), and be of Rusthall – the theme being 'What Rusthall means to you'. Photos should be submitted digitally to the website editor with your name, contact number, email, age (if under 16) and where and when the photograph was taken. Alternatively you can post a print with all your details to Alex Britcher at 1 Manor Road which runs beside the first One Stop in Rusthall High Street. There will be 1 winner and 3 runners up from each of the two categories. The photographic editor from the Courier will be judging the competition. £50 cash for the winner of the adult category and £40 cash prize for the under 16 winner. Entrants can send in up to 5 images of what Rusthall means to them today, they can be of people, places, animals, buildings, landscapes, wildlife, events etc. as long as the photos were taken in the last year please. We are actually building up a nice archive of photos on the RVA website, there are over 200 photos sort of a contemporary pictorial social history please have a look and please see the RVA website for further information. Closing date is 1st September 2019.

4. New Garden Waste Collection

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council are currently doing an introductory offer for the new garden waste scheme which finishes on the 2nd August 2019. If you order your new garden waste bin now you will get a £10 discount for the following year. Bin sizes are 240 litres, 140 litres or if you don’t have room for wheelie bins then Tunbridge Wells Borough Council will provide 3x 90 litre hessian sacks. If you get a 140 litre bin or 240 litre bin you will still be charged the same amount. Waste collected will be garden, doorstep glass, food waste, paper and cardboard and plastics recycling which will now go in your brown bin. However if you want to get the £10 introductory discount you need to sign up before 2nd August. The new service is due to start on Monday 30 September 2019 and all questions and answers concerning the recycling service can be found on:

5. Speakers and Presentations

Rusthall Community SpeedWatch – Talk Given by Speed Watch Co-ordination Michael Heaseman

1.   Rusthall Community Speed Watch group was formed in March 2019. It was advertised in Rusthall Life Magazine and on NextDoor. We currently have 8 volunteers and we would warmly welcome more.

2.   Why did we form?

There was a Rusthall Speedwatch Group previously in Rusthall, so the Parish Council had the equipment. Then there was a post on Nextdoor about a dead cat killed, cars being scratched and wing mirrors being damaged by speeding. I have been witness to several near miss incidents involving children especially around the Ashley Gardens, Mary Caley recreation area. There have been lots of community concerns, posts on Next Door about speed within Rusthall and support for 20's Plenty Campaign. We also wanted to drive the change towards stopping Rusthall being used as a rat run from Southborough via Lower Green Road and onto other places where cars travel along at high speeds.

3.   What do we do?

We monitor vehicle speeds at approved sites throughout Rusthall: Lower Green Road different spots, Shirley Gardens, Cranwell Road, one down by the bottom of Lower Green Road just above the cottages, Ashley Gardens just by the Mary Caley recreation ground. Meadow Road is being talked about. We have other sites pending Bretland Road, Rusthall Road by Harmony Street and Longmeads. We have to choose sites where we have a clear line of sight so cannot do it where cars are parked and we are supposed to be visible so wear hi vis jackets. Can actually see and hear vehicles slowing down as they see us so we are being effective. Offending drivers are recorded and details passed onto Kent Police for further action as required.

If a vehicle is traveling over the speed limit plus 10% plus 2 mph then they are reported to Kent police so 30mph (National speed limit ) plus 10% ( 3mph ) plus 2mph which equals 35 mph. If the speed limit was 20 mph this would be plus 10% (2mph) plus 2mph which would equal 24mph. Therefore if you look at the statistics over 150 drivers would have been reported to Kent Police by Community Speed Watch if the speed limit was lower.

How many cars would you say on average used Lower Green Road per day? Answer about 5,000 cars.

4.   Statistics to date

Number of session held - 20
Cars observed – 5387 over the official different speed watch sessions
Cars recorded and monitored travelling over 30mph – 137

Cars recorded, monitored and reported travelling over 35mph - 15

5.   Support

The amount of public support we have had whilst out on speedwatch sessions has been hugely encouraging we have been brought cups of tea and biscuits. There is real concern from folks about vehicle speed in Rusthall and we are always on the lookout for new volunteers as then we can get people trained up and hold many more Speedwatch sessions in Rusthall.

Speaker and Presentation – Adrian Berendt 20 is Plenty Kent Co-ordinator

1.   20’s Plenty for Us

20 is Plenty Campaign was formed in 2007 for default speed of 20mph in towns / village centres and residential streets with exceptions such as A roads etc. It was founded by Rod King MBE who is lead national co-ordination, Anna Semlyen who is National Campaign co-ordinator and Jeremy Leach who is the London Campaigns co-ordinator. There are 400 local campaigns and 20 million live in local authorities committed to 20 mph.

2.   Who is 20's Plenty for in Kent?

There are 25 20’s Plenty Campaign groups in Kent. Adrian Berendt is the Campaign Manager/ Co-Ordinator for Kent. 20’s Plenty is got children, disabled, elderly, young, infirm etc In fact it is for everyone. It is for all of us.

3.   Why 20 mph? Physics and Biology

A quick driving test revision here. Typical stopping distances ( metres) – audience participation- 20 mph and 30mph?
At 20mph thinking distance equals 6 metres but stopping distance is at 12 metres
At 30mph thinking distance equals 9 metres but stopping distance is at 23 metres

So at 12 metres, the 20mph the car has stopped. How fast is the 30mph car going?

Stopping Distances

40mph stopping distance is 120ft / 37 metres
30mph stopping distance is 75ft / 23 metres
20mph stopping distance is 40ft / 12 metres
If a child runs out 40 ft in front of you :

-   If you are doing 20mph you’ll stop in time
-   If you are doing 30mph you’ll hit them at 27mph
-   If you are doing 40mph you’ll hit them at 40mph

Speed vs Collisions

1mph slower equals 6% less casualties and fewer vehicle collisions. (Dft, OECD and others)

Why is speed important?

If a car is traveling at 20 mph 90% survive the collision with 10% resulting in fatalities.
If a car is traveling at 30mph 60% survive the collision with 40% resulting in fatalities.
If a car is traveling at 40mph only 20% survive the collision with 80% resulting in fatalities.
Source : (vision zero two year action strategy)

Most Pedestrian Casualties are on 30mph Roads

Pedestrian casualties on 20 mph roads – 5% fatalities, 10% serious and 12% slight
Pedestrian casualties on 30 mph roads – 60% fatalities, 82% serious and 85% slight
Pedestrian casualties on 40 mph roads – 12% fatalities, 7% serious and 5% slight
Pedestrian casualties on 50 mph roads – 5% fatalities, 1% serious and 1% slight
Pedestrian casualties on 60 mph roads – 22% fatalities, 8% serious and 5% slight
Pedestrian casualties on 70 mph roads – 18% fatalities, 1% serious and 1 % slight (on 60mph and 70mph roads “ pedestrians” were mostly previously in a car)

The majority of pedestrian casualties of all severities occurred on roads with a 30mph speed limit in 2017.

Slowing down saves lives

There were 170,000 casualties in 2017 (1,800 were fatal)

110,000 (64%) on low speed roads

Therefore 1mph slower = 6,000 less fewer collisions on low speed roads

Do Speed limits help?

Man so excellent at driving he can set his own speed limits

A driver so brilliant at controlling a car he know exactly how fast he can without crashing or mowing people down.
“The same goes for drink driving. If you can’t handle a vehicle after four pints you shouldn’t really be driving in the first place.”

Councillor can’t drive at 20mph

“ it doesn’t do for a county councillor to be caught speeding. I find it uncomfortable and requiring a lot of concentration to maintain 20mph …When you consider how difficult it is to maintain such a low speed in a modern car.”

Three pedals in a most modern cars – clutch, accelerator and most importantly the brake!

The OECD likes 20mph

The OECD International Transport Forum “Speed and Crash Risk” calls for: “30km/h (20mph) speed limits in built up areas where vulnerable road users mic with motor vehicles.”

Edinburgh really likes 20mph

24% drop in road casualties since 20mph rolled out in Edinburgh

Chief Superintendent Richard Thomas: “[while] 20mph speed limits are not always adhered to, they’re having a calming effect on driver behaviour.”

Even the DfT likes 20mph

Traffic authorities are asked to consider the introduction of more 20mph limits.

In urban areas and built-up village streets to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists.


Major streets where there could be significant numbers of journeys on foot or where pedal cycle movements are important and this outweighs the disadvantage of longer journey times for motorised traffic.

The promise
“The thrill of the journey” car adverts of the fast car on the open road.(stinger)

And the reality
Multiple cars gridlocked in traffic jams on our motorways not going anywhere

Harks back to older days when cigarettes were advertised

The Promise Then
The cigarette then pursed between the cowboys lips as he rides his horse into the Wild West.

And the reality
As we know now smoking is a killer.

Calming or no Calming?

Traffic calmed zones such as speed bumps, chicanes etc

Signed only limits are roads where signs are on entry and painted on roads

Location school of Hygiene and tropical medicine study:
impact of 300+ 20mp (1986 to 2006 ) minus 42% casualties.

Location/ Study Year Note Casualties
Portsmouth 2010   -22%
Newcastle 2012   -25%
Burnley 2014   -29%
Calderdale 2016   - 30%
Bristol 2018 1 - 14%
Edinburgh 2018 2 -24%
Cheshire West 2018 3 -65%
Brighton 2018 4 -19%

Note 1. Avg 2.7 mph lower; 6/7 mph slower on A/B roads
Note 2. Caution: results for 1st 3 months
Note 3. Caution – few casualties
Note 4. Per WS Atkins report

Do Communities want 20mph?

Uk Attitude Survey

2017 fieldwork by YouGov. Sample size 3,076 adults

Question : Do you support 20mph in:

Residential roads ? Response Yes = 63% ( 76% on existing 20mph roads)
Busy streets? Response Yes = 72% support

Question: Do most people support 20mph limits?
“ yes” = 13%!

Question: Might you break a 20mph limit?
Response – yes = 29% ( slight fall from previous surveys)

Question: Would most other drivers break the limit?
Response “ yes” = 68%!

Community Speedwatch results in Tunbridge Wells shows about 3 in 4 comply
Within 4mph …..

Kent’s 20mph policy

Old Criteria
Lots of casualties
Deprived area
County member to fund

Physical Calming?
Average speed 24 mph
Police to agree

New Criteria
As before plus
Community Sponsored

Physical Calming
Average speed 28mph
Police consulted

Rusthall Village

Before 20mph speed limit

After 20mph speed limit installed

Adrian Berendt won 20’s Plenty for Us campaigner of the year 2018.

10 is zen
20 is plenty
30 is hurty
40 is naughty

86% of motorists ignore 20mph limit say The Times

Source - ( https://www ignore-20mph-limit-29k8sj9df)

86% of drivers that kill cyclists escape jail

Source - ( /news/251244-most-drivers-fatal-collisions-cyclists- avoid-jail-says-cycling-uk-research)

Impact of Excessive speed

Elderly lose independent mobility
Children lose independent mobility
Social cohesion reduces in faster streets
More isolation of community for non-drivers
Creates structural inequality between with / without cars

Equality and Opportunity

Stop bullying children (fear of traffic prevents them walking or cycling on roads)
Pressure traffic authorities to prioritise the needs of children above those of motorists
End the post code lottery on the independent mobility of our children and older citizens

The objective

Road Hierarchy for PEOPLE 1. Walking
2. Cycling
3. Public Transport

Lower speeds at 20mph are relevant to 7 out of 10 healthy streets indeed indicators as numbered below:

1. Not too noisy
2. People feel safe
3. People walk, cycle and use public transport
4. Easy to cross
Places to stop and rest
Shade and shelter
Things to see and do
5. People feel relaxed
6. Clean air
7. They are for all types of people

And finally

Are 30mph limits “fit for purpose” in village communities blighted by cars going too fast?

It’s time Village communities took back control of the spaces between their homes that are called streets.

Questions from the floor

Can you do anything about boy racers in the High Street?

Speed seems to increase after the shops close can we do anything about that?

Do 20mph road marking help?

Wouldn’t speed bumps be better?

What can you do about school drivers – who consistently break the 20mph speed limit?

How can you get Arriva to get their bus drivers to stick to 20mph?

How long does it take to get a scheme approved?

How do you set up a 20’s Plenty Campaign Group?

How many residents are there in the village?

Can you crowdfund it?

Could I have Rod King’s details please?

6. Councillors Reports

Cllr James McInroy Kent County Councillor Report

Last month in June 5 cases of measles in Canterbury. So please tell people and encourage them vaccinate with the MMR. It’s quite horrifying to see measles back in Kent

He supports 20mph zone and it’s great about the new criteria. Tunbridge Wells isn’t Parished and don’t have a precept Culverden scheme cost £40,000 and Peter Oakford helped with that 100,000 grants like the projector.

Woodford Fund- Kent Superannuation scheme
260 million – Neil Woodford which is a lot of money was told initially would take only a month to get back. 2-3 months later Kent County Council still trying to get the money back.

In June Full Council Meeting at Kent County Council Council decided on Climate change. To bring forward carbon neutral and to make all whole county carbon neutral by 2030. Full council have agreed that all Kent County Councils estates which there are 3,000 buildings in total will be by 2030 carbon neutral.

Cllr David Funnell TWBC Councillor’s Report

Since the last Rusthall Village Association Meeting in May, l have been busy attending many council meetings and finishing my training as a new Borough Councillor and I have helped Rusthall residents with various problems; including arranging for a dead deer to be removed from Langton Road, getting excess glass removed from around the bottle banks in Common View, reporting the bottle banks to be emptied, reported the new rubbish contractor when it’s failed to collect residents rubbish and reporting potholes, broken pavements, street lights and abandoned vehicles.

I have also been out several times with the Speed-watch group, had meetings with Kent Highways regarding 20’s Plenty for Rusthall and helped out on the BBQ at Rusthall Fete. I would like to thank the entire team who organised and helped out at the Fete for producing another great day for everybody. Special thanks goes to the members of the Rusthall Bonfire and Fete Committee for all their hard work on Friday night and all day Saturday, setting up, manning the stalls and clearing up afterwards.

Cllr Liz Ellicott Rusthall Parish Councillor’s Report

Red Lion

Parish Council have submitted a letter against the appeal. The Red Lion brewery are using a survey done in 2005 for their planning and say it’s a quiet rural road. Highways is totally support the Parish Council’s original decision on turning down the application because the Highways gentleman actually nearly got knocked over whilst doing his survey. In fact his equipment got damaged. So unless they drastically change their plans we cannot see it going ahead

White Hart

The application for the White Hart has been turned down once again. Concerns about over development and danger to neighbours concerning road access. There also wasn’t enough car parking spaces and concerns regarding tree reference conservation area.

Other Parish News

New fence around the allotments and a new five bar gate at the entrance – there was a big gap at the bottom.

Parish Council meetings – run monthly the second Monday of the month and not many people are turning up. Approximately 8 turned up last meeting.

Parish Council had a meeting with St Paul’s School – numbers of admissions for reception class have gone down drastically despite good Ofsted reports and the school wants to be promoted. Parish council are looking to see as to what they can do to help promote the school.

7. Village News

New library opening and closing times from 30th September 2019

Monday and Wednesday closed
Tuesday and Thursday 09.30 until 12.30 and then 13.30 until 16.30
Friday 09.00 until 13.00 and then 14.00 until 17.00
Saturday 10.00 until 14.00

Legends of the Rocks Community play

Outdoor performances down by Toad Rock. It’s a play devised by the community. It’s fantasy and dance and music. It’s really quite joyous. Can buy tickets at the Venture. We are asking for donations. It’s overwhelming theme is saving the planet. Performance is roughly 1 hour. You can also get stand by tickets. We don’t have seats as such and can bring your own but you are guaranteed to get better acoustics. Performances are from 24th July until 28th July. Come and have a good time.

Rusthall Community Cinema & Film Society News

This Sunday 21st July we will open the doors at 2pm to our first free family film of the season in conjunction with Rusthall Community Arts. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) is an adventure comedy starring George Clooney, loosely based on Homer's Odyssey.

The following Saturday at 7pm we open the doors to those wanting to watch First Man (2018) on a 4K big screen with surround sound.

We are seeking suggestions for films to screen in the coming season. Please email suggestions to or complete the form at This must be done by 11th August.

Sunnyside Hall has received Planning consent to extend the building by 4 metres. This will allow for a new meeting or counselling room, much needed storage facilities, and an entrance foyer to shelter those queuing to visit the cinema from the elements. Above the foyer will be a small projection room.

The Trustees are now getting quotes and are about to apply for grants. Anyone able to suggest possible uses for the new meeting room would help the grant application process.

We have just completed construction of external storage facilities to house the three table tennis tables that Mike & Christine Bassett used to provide for the youth group. Anyone wanting to try playing should contact Charlie Brown or Eugene Gardner.

History Society

If anyone came and saw us at the Fete we featured Denny Bottom and Rocks in the Fete.

Upcoming talks at the United Reform Church are :-
29 July Supernatural Incidents - Dennis Chambers ( also involving the police )
30 September The Crossness Pumping Station – Petra Cox ( been described as a masterpiece of engineering)
Non members welcome £2 on the day.

Family History Group Meeting

Meet third Thursday of the month in the library at 10.30.
Next meeting 18 July 2019 and will be discussing North West Kent Family History Group.

Quilting Group in library on Mondays

It’s been noted that there is a fairly lively quilting group in Rusthall Village library on Mondays.


Anti Social Behaviour

This has been added as there’s been some posts on Nextdoor suggesting there’s been a a spate of anti social behaviour in the village from children notably eggs being thrown at Windows , cars etc and if anyone had experienced anything or if it was becoming a real issue. Both Liz Ellicott and Su Denne had both experienced some anti social behaviour with either eggs or stones being thrown. However no one had experienced any.

The raffle raised £29
Meeting closed at 22.15

Chair – Alex Britcher
Vice Chair: Tel: 01892 540018
Website editor Nigel Suckling
MembershipSecretary: Sue White
General contact: