Aspens provides essential care and support for disadvantaged adults both in residential and day care.
On any single day some 250 people are living, attending, visiting or working at Aspens, Cornford Lane.
Ironically the facility now managed by Aspens was originally set up (as Larkfield Hall) in Cornford Lane mainly due to its quiet, peaceful and almost traffic-free environment. In years past residents from then Larkfield would frequently be seen walking the length of the lane. A safe and stress-free environment for the people in their care.
This is far removed from the current situation as Cornford Lane and it's fast moving and frequent traffic runs through the Aspens site, and staff, residents and visitors need to cross the lane to get from one part of the facility to another.
In addition, many Aspens residents use Cornford Lane to walk to the nearby shops, and some staff also walk along the lane to get to and from work. However there is no footpath to enable this to be done in safety and pedestrians must walk in the road for much of the way. There is no speed limit in place, allowing traffic to effectively drive at up to 60mph. Both groups are in continual danger and three members of staff have suffered injury as a result of speeding traffic - many more have had or have witnessed near-misses.
" Our son is autistic and goes to Pepenbury daily and runs risk of being knocked down every day due speed and thoughtlessness of fast driving" - Mr & Mrs P (West Malling).
It is some measure of the dangers of the other parts of the lane that Aspens insurers specifically disallow the use of any vehicle used by their staff to travel further along Cornford Lane.
And Aspens is normally (outside of the current CV19 restrictions) open to members of the public to visit their coffee shop and walk through the adjacent woodland, as well as take children to see their collection of farm and small animals.
It simply cannot be right that these vulnerable members of our society and their carers can be left susceptible to the dangers of unrestricted traffic volume and speed. If the lane was made safe then the people cared for at Aspens would not only be protected from potential injury but would be able to walk and enjoy the full length of the lane that is currently out of bounds to them because it is simply too dangerous.
For more information on the work that Aspens do go to: