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New grammar school "expensive and impractical" says new campaign group

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A newly formed campaign group against plans to build a new grammar school in Kent says the plans are 'expensive and impractical' and 'bound to fail.'

The Kent Education Network says the proposals which will see the Weald of Kent school in Tonbridge create a new annex in Sevenoaks will not solve the problem of pupils having to travel ten miles each day to school.

Weald of Kent refuses to provide parents and residents with details of how the complicated logistics will work, despite a Freedom of Information request asking for this information. But it is our considered view that the hidden complications of the plan will result in teaching staff being forced to take over an hour travelling between the two sites most days if courses are to be duplicated on both sites.

– Joanne Bartley, Kent Education Network


New free school opening delayed by 12 months

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The opening of a new free school in Tonbridge has been delayed by 12 months.

The Bishop Chavasse Primary will now not open until September 2017. It had been due to open this year.

Although further progress has been made on the purchase of the site for the school since November, we have unfortunately not yet been able to finalise it.

Because of the long period of time this process has taken, and particularly because of where we are now in the primary school admissions cycle, the Department for Education and the Trust have agreed to defer the opening of the new school to September 2017.

– Statement from the school's sponsors


Mystery of woman who died after being found in middle of the A21

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A woman has died after being found in the central reservation on the A21 Tonbridge bypass.

Emergency services were called just before 4.30am but despite the best efforts of paramedics, the woman was pronounced dead an hour later.

The road was closed in both directions between Morley's roundabout and Vauxhall roundabout causing long delays.

Dashcam catches shocking moment mobility scooter pulls out in front of car

This is the shocking moment a driver narrowly avoided a man on a mobility scooter as he pulled out in front of her on a pedestrian crossing.

The driver, Emma Read, says she was driving through Tonbridge in Kent when she approached the crossing with the lights on green.

The mobility scooter appears without warning from a central reservation and drives straight into the road in front of Ms Read's car.

He swerved to avoid her and thankfully no-one was injured.

It was only sheer luck that I did not kill him or at least seriously injure him.

If I had been on a motorbike he could have seriously injured me, as it is I am lucky I didn't hit him as it would of affected my insurance and also caused damage to my car.

– Emma Read, driver

Fire crews tackle industrial machine blaze in Kent

Fire crews in Kent are tackling a blaze involving an industrial machine in Tonbridge.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to Morley Road at 12.15pm today. Credit: Harry Westbrook

Four fire engines are currently on the scene and crews wearing breathing apparatus have been tackling the fire in an industrial building.

An aerial appliance is being used to inspect the roof for hot spots.

Firefighters are also using fog spike to punch holes into the building to get water into the inside. Credit: Harry Westbrook
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