7. Facing the Future 7 : FACING THE FUTUREThis section is about making sure Otford is well prepared to deal with changes that may face our community.These are the concerns that the community indicated as most needing action: (These are the views indicated by the majority of numerical responses received to the questionnaire) PREPARING FOR ADDITIONAL VISITORS TO THE VILLAGEMONITORING EFFECTS OF DUNTON GREEN DEVELOPMENT SUPPORTING AN EMERGENCY TEAM AFTER A MAJOR INCIDENT These were all the verbatim comments added to the questionnaire: (We would point out that these are individual comments and do not necessarily represent the views of the majority of respondents) Question 6: FACING THE FUTURE Rye Lane: · If Dunton Green children come to school in Otford this will become a major problem. · There was a suggestion at one point to close Rye Lane at a point near Dunton Green. · If this development goes ahead traffic on Rye Lane will be unsustainable. · The impact on our school and access to it? · With 500 new homes at Dunton Green, Rye Lane will be unable to support the extra traffic (neither can the Riverhill Roundabout!) · 500 new homes in Dunton Green is going to have serious affects on our roads. It will affect traffic, the school and additional policing. Are we ready for it? What are we doing? · Block Rye Lane at the motorway bridge or we are asking for accidents and road-rage in what is essentially a cart track. · Stop Rye Lane at the Motorway Bridge. Emergency access only. · Is there any way a through-traffic ban could operate in Rye Lane? It is already a rat-run and site traffic and shoppers traffic will make it seriously dangerous to everyone. · Lorries should be banned from Rye lane. · Close Rye Lane at the motorway – make it a no through road. Do it soon before it is too late. · As a ‘volunteer’ community responder, Rye Lane will be impossible to use when the new estate is completed unless traffic from the estate is banned. Darent Valley as Recreation Area · If our valley is designated an official recreation area for North Kent we will get an even greater flow of traffic through the village. What can we do about it? · It seems unlikely that Otford will be affected as a through route. · There is a clear potential is to increase traffic by a further 3,200 vehicles (2 per new household) With no planned improvement of local infrastructure or any by-pass indicated, be prepared Otford! Emergencies: · Courses on Civil Defence, advice on what to do in an emergency would be to everyone’s benefit. What is the Parish Council’s role? · Many years ago we had an emergency team but what has happed to it? · The disaster issue is never raised until it is too late. In Shoreham we were asked what machinery/equipment we had in case of a disaster. · Who is the major incident co-ordinator in Otford? · Some form of leaflet (on what to do in an emergency) for distribution to all would be helpful. Flooding: · We get flooded every year. Neither Parish Council nor Environment Agency can help. Are the sluice gates being manned properly? Is there enough drainage on Frog Farm field? An Otford By-Pass · With the natural increase in traffic numbers and the prospect of so many big developments, a by-pass must begin to be planned now. · Has anyone started to think about a by-pass around Otford? If we don’t we will be over-run. · Increases in traffic volumes are very concerning. Already there is too much especially in rush hours. This will inevitably increase year-by-year Plan now for a grid-locked future A by-pass for Otford? We should at least plan for one. Effects on village of external elements. · Village already overcrowded. Must preserve Green belt and rural status. · Very concerned that traffic and visitor numbers will increase. · In the past much as been done to keep our village intact and unspoilt. The future pressures in expansion in the surrounding area will be enormous. We need to do all we can to keep our identity!