An accident waiting to happen?

From: Bullion, Alan
Sent: 03 May 2018 13:01
Subject: Traffic lights at the junctions of Blackhurst Lane and Halls Hole Road

Dear Sir,

During the local election campaign on Sherwood, I was contacted by several concerned residents of Sandown Park and surrounding areas about the traffic lights sited at the junctions of Blackhurst Lane and Halls Hole Road.

While the lights are far better than the former uncontrolled junction there is a problem with the phasing. These lights can be controlled remotely from Maidstone, so a simple change to the phasing, delaying the Halls Hole Road green light by 10-15 seconds, could be introduced quickly and easily, and we would soon see if it was effective. Also, a camera at the junction, well-advertised, would both act as a deterrent and generate revenue. When the lights were first installed, signs were placed both sides of the junction saying ‘Give way to oncoming traffic’, but they were removed after only a few weeks.

Some local residents have also suggested a roundabout as an alternative, or one-way traffic along Halls Hole Road and Cornford Lane into Pembury. I’m aware that this issue has come up frequently over recent years as the traffic jams increase between Pembury and the Town Centre, particularly at peak hours. A newly proposed ‘retirement village’ would have further compounded the problem. A safer solution does need to be urgently found, for as one local resident said – it’s an accident waiting to happen.


Dr Alan Bullion



Alan stands up for Sherwood!

Alan Bullion has lived in the Sherwood ward where he is standing for the past 30 years.

He works in London for Informa and commutes from High Brooms station, where he successfully campaigned for a second ticket machine. He is a former school governor and pupil of Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, and is still chair of its Alumni society.

Alan has long been active over local issues in the Oak Road area of Sherwood, such as defending the recreation and sports facilities against development.

Alan also is a great believer in life-long learning, having done degrees with the Open University and Southampton as a mature student. He is supporting the campaign to keep Open University courses affordable for all who want to continue to study.

Alan is also an active member of the Campaign for Protection of Rural England, the Campaign for Real Ale, European Movement, and United Nations Association UK.

Please contact him at or 07766968820 if you can help in any way with Liberal Democrat campaigns.

Become a Member

Become a Member

Join the Liberal Democrats today from as little as £1 a month and help us fight for an open, tolerant and united Britain.

Glass Recycling: Back our Campaign!

Glass Recycling: Back our Campaign!

Sherwood commuter Alan Bullion supports increased safety measures at High Brooms station

Sherwood resident and commuter Alan Bullion has seen several incidents where train travellers have had problems with the treacherous steep staircases at High Brooms station.

“One day I saw an elderly man lying at the bottom of the steps who had fallen as the handrail on the stairs had come away. We helped him to get an ambulance as there was no station staff on duty due to being a Sunday.”

Similar difficulties have been experienced by passengers with disabilities, school children, and parents with buggies and pushchairs.

“This problem could easily be solved by building a ramp behind the down platform onto the footpath coming out by the second ticket machine, which I successfully campaigned for over many years. There is railway land available and a track where this could be constructed. For many years passengers have suffered from a lack of facilities at this busy station, with no loos, no proper waiting rooms, and stairs that are clearly dangerous for many passengers.” 

Alan is calling for urgent action from Southeastern with other commuters before another accident occurs.

This would also benefit commuters from St James, St Johns, and Southborough.

Alan Bullion

Action NOW on Tunbridge Wells Cinema Grotspot


The derelict site of the former ABC Cinema in Tunbridge Wells town centre has reached its 13th year. Despite endless promises and excuses from the Conservatives running the council no real progress has been made on redeveloping the site for local people.

Local Liberal Democrats are pressing for decisive action to be taken by the council. They are leading the campaign to press the council into purchasing the site and developing it for the community.

“It is just shocking and inexcusable that the Conservatives have left this prime town centre site derelict for 13 years! There are children in our town who have grown up never knowing it as anything other than a disused grotspot.” said local Lib Dem councillor, Ben Chapelard.

“The Liberal Democrats are launching a campaign to force the Conservatives to take action. We want them to use existing powers such as a Compulsory Purchase Order to get some progress on getting the site redeveloped.

“All we ever hear are excuses or attempts to shift the blame onto someone else. When they’re not displaying a “can’t do attitude” they’re blaming others for not using their legal powers to resolve the situation. Enough is enough! The Conservatives have let this drag on for 13 long years and it’s time to put an end to it.

“We are asking local people to sign our petition at to put pressure on the council to act. Together we can put an end to 13 years of Conservative failure.”

Leader of the Opposition Lib Dem Cllr David Neve added: “The whole thing is a ‘horror show’. Visitors to Tunbridge Wells are greeted, on arrival by devastation and dilapidation. What a sorry picture this presents. Tunbridge Wells deserves better from the Conservatives. Please sign our residents’ petition.”

How the Lib Dems deliver greater lasting benefits for Kent pupils

David Laws, Liberal Democrat schools minister, said Kent schools will benefit from a new deal brokered by Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister.

The Liberal Democrats were able to negotiate in the coalition for an increase to the Pupil Premium, which gives additional money towards the education of disadvantaged children, and the introduction of free school lunches. Both policies are being implemented by David Laws.

“This will really help children in Kent get on in life. It is an important step to help us build a stronger economy and a fairer society,” Laws told an audience in Headcorn.

The Pupil Premium allocation for 2013-2014 (this school year) is £47.8 million across 54,200 children for Kent & Medway at £900 for most children.

David Laws announced that the estimated pupil premium for 2014-2015 (next year) will be £60.9 million across a similar number of children. Next year the pupil premium will remain the same for kids in secondary school but rise by a whopping 44% for primary children to £1,300.

Free School Meals are also to be offered to all infant children, i.e. those in Receptions and Years 1 and 2, from next year. There are 59,568 kids currently eligible in Kent and Medway at around £400 for each child. This will now go to all youngsters at a total injection of an additional £23.8 million.

This all amounts to total increase of £132.5 million additional money for Kent schools from now until July 2015. It also amounts to a grand total of £182 million across the whole of this Parliament.

How Tunbridge Wells benefits from good trading relations with the EU

South East England Lib Dem European Candidate Alan Bullion has pledged his support for Britain’s continued membership of the European Union, which each year provides billions of pounds of funding across the United Kingdom.

This follows an important new report by respected academic Professor Iain Begg, who has worked out how many jobs rely on trade with the European Union. He has calculated that trade with the EU accounts for 4,614 jobs across the borough of Tunbridge Wells – which also includes Cranbrook and surrounding villages in the Maidstone and Weald constituency.

From 2007-2012 the European Investment Bank provided €26.7 billion of loans in the UK, alongside €8.4 billion of investment. “Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy in a fairer society. Part of that is recognising the huge benefits our membership of the European Union brings. Around 3.5 million jobs are linked to Britain’s membership of the EU. I know many people have issues with the EU, but as we climb out of a terrible recession, is this really the time to risk our membership of the world’s most valuable single market?,” said Alan Bullion.

Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also warned of the dangers of leaving the European Union saying:

“Our economy is finally turning a corner, but the recovery is fragile. We should be focusing on finishing the job and laying the foundations for long-term growth, not entertaining the idea of an EU exit that would throw our recovery away. Let me be absolutely clear: leaving the EU would be economic suicide. You cannot overstate the damage it would do to British livelihoods and prosperity.”

Kent Tories waste more of your hard-earned money at County Hall

Tory County Councillors have spent £5,000 of taxpayers’ money – on financial advisers to help them avoid paying tax on their travel expenses.

“This is a disgrace,” said Alan Bullion, Liberal Democrat prospective Euro candidate and life-long Kent resident. “As leader of the council who lobbied and lobbied for the money, Paul Carter should resign. How can he possibly justify wasting public money in a legal battle to increase his expenses when he is closing children centres in our borough because of lack of funds?

“The tax authorities had already undertaken a lengthy investigation and ruled that there was absolutely no justification in letting off county councillors from paying tax on their expenses – yet still Mr Carter pushed and pushed for the money.”

This shocking revelation follows the recent storm when it was revealed Mr Carter had tried to increase the mileage allowance of county councillors from 45p a mile to 67p a mile – a move exposed by Trudy Dean, leader of the Lib Dem group at County Hall. The spending hike had been backed by a motley alliance of Tory, Labour and UKIP, with the UKIP leader declaring himself behind the Tory measure “all the way”.

Thanks to Lib Dem pressure and a public outcry, Mr Carter backed down. But after this latest revelation that he used public money to feather the nest of councillors, can he survive?

More delays on Tunbridge Wells cinema grotspot?

Will the old cinema site eventually get a new tenant? What are the ruling Conservatives on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council doing about the delapidated eyesore?

For twelve long years the residents of Tunbridge Wells have been calling for action. The answer has been one long deafening silence and a story of endless inertia.

Tunbridge Wells Lib Dems have campaigned long and hard for action, organised petitions and most importantly, asked the general public want they want to happen.

We will be campaigning again on the streets on Wednesday, July 17, when local South East Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder will also be visiting the town centre from 3 to 4pm.

More details here soon…


Why I am backing new Tunbridge Wells Science Park proposal

Sheridan Bowie’s plans published in the Courier for a Colebrook Science Park on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells should be welcomed.

We urgently need more science and hi-tech jobs, as well as apprenticeships, and this scheme could therefore be ideal.

Provided the A21 widening goes ahead, and this development is connected by a frequent shuttle bus with nearby High Brooms station, then I can foresee few problems with increased road traffic.

One of the So Make A Difference visions for the town which I backed was for a university campus.

If the Colebrook site could be used to develop medical breakthroughs with our local hospital facilities, as well as agricultural crop improvements with neighbouring researchers such as in Hadlow and East Malling, we could really have a campus of lasting benefit both to West Kent and beyond.

Some years ago, Sir Bob Geldof, who also lives near Faversham, was involved in just such a proposal at Wye in East Kent.

Sadly that project failed to get planning approval, mainly due to local objections, in a time of lower unemployment, but perhaps Sir Bob and others could be approached again for financial backing by Mr Bowie?