Some residents have requested further information on the development of the Wayfinders scheme. This involves the erection of seven signs spread between the top station and the roundabout at Mont St Aignan Way. They have been identified as a way to improve the economic viability of the town, aiming to increase footfall in the High Street and improve the link between the town centre, industrial estates and both train stations. Three signs are planned to go in the High Street, with two between the W.I. Hall and Four Elms Road, and two further signs installed at the junction with Fircroft Way and by the top station. The signs are 200cm high and 63cm wide (the size of a tall man).
Back in September 2017 the Council was approached by Kent Highways who had developer funding for works in the High Street. The scope of the works was limited but could include environmental improvements. Various proposals were considered and at November Council it was proposed that the Parking Task and Finish group should look into the feasibility of a Wayfinder scheme, along with the introduction of a 20mph speed limit and the possibility of reopening the entrance to the Market Yard Car Park from the High Street. The Wayfinder scheme had been recommended in the independent report commissioned by the District Council into the Economic Development of Edenbridge. The Edenbridge Business Forum, which is attended by the Chamber of Commerce and local traders, including the manager of Waitrose, had recommended that a Wayfinder scheme be developed and tasked the Town Council to lead on it.
As part of the feasibility costing were sought for the production of Edenbridge specific Wayfinder drawings, the manufacture of 7 free standing totems and installation. The best value cost as of February 2018 was £29,000. In addition, the mapping element is expected to be £1,225. Additionally, costs for licences and a small contingency may also be required. The three Wayfinders located in the High Street can be funded from the devloper funding, reducing the overall cost to the town council by £12,500.
The Task and Finish group met on a number of occasions with Kent Highways and at December Council it was proposed that a consultation should take place. This was combined with Kent Highways consultation on the 20mph limit and was well advertised on the Council’s Website, on social media, by leaflets and signs around the town.
The Task and Finish group met to consider the outcome of the consultations and these were discussed at the Forward Planning Committee in June which proposed an increase in the funding allocation towards the a range of possible initiatives for the High Street, and at the July Council meeting the consultation results and update from the Task and Finish group resulted in Council members resolving that the project should move forward to the next stage of development.
Click here for notes on the Task & Finish group meeting notes parking Parking T&F June 2018.
Click here for the consultation results Consultation on wayfinders
To progress the project, at the September Council meeting members were asked to approve the use of a mapping company, given suggestions for style of maps available and asked which buildings they felt would be the most appropriate to be highlighted on the map. They approved the use of Lovell Johns Ltd, who have a local connection, to produce the map and decided to refer the design elements back to the Task and Finish Group. Work is underway to gain the necessary permits, permissions and agreements to position the signs.