- Posted by: Canterbury Labour
- Category: Latest News
The announcement last week that Kent County Council is to receive £8m from Central government for temporary road re-organisation works designed to promote cycling, walking and social distancing has created somewhat of a stir in town.
This week the Whitstable Gazzette carried a reckless story about an ‘unnamed city councillor’ recommending the pedestrianisation of Harbour Street and the introduction of a temporary one way system despite clear evidence from businesses that to do so would see many of them lose between 30-40% of there earnings and some choose not to reopen as a result.
Taking time to speak to local shop keepers it seems the plans are ill thought out and benefit some rather than all traders when what we need is a thriving high street for all going forward.
Rather than complain about this intervention, Gorrell councillors have today written to KCC Mark Dance with an alternate proposal which seeks to widen pavements temporarily and provide more space for queues. They agree that pavements are narrow, traffic brisk and social distancing difficult. The plans thereby includes:
- Introducing a 10mph speed restriction along Harbour Street to make it safer for pedestrians to step into the road to avoid others
- Temporarily widening the pavements by removing parking and taxi ranks from the high street
- Adding additional disabled parking bays temporarily to Gladstone Road and Victoria Street car parks to make up for lost spaces. We assume that the taxi ranks will not be full until pubs and bars reopen after the summer
- A temporary closing of several of the alleys or access points to the High Street thereby allowing shop keepers to direct queues away from the high street and not along the pavements
- Two new zebra crossings (one outside the Umbrella Centre and the other in Sea Street) to make it easier for people to cross over the road to avoid others or use existing cut throughs more effectively
- Closing off of some resident parking to allow traders in particular pinch points to serve from the back or front of their property where safe to do so.
In addition the councillors have also responded to the call of Canterbury City Council’s cycling champion to propose additional cycling lanes and facilities in town. The plan builds off the ambition of the Crab & Winkle Way Trust to tie up Canterbury with the Coastal route by improving the visibility of the current National Cycle Route 15 between Whitstable Station and the Harbour. This plan also includes:
- Redirecting the cycle path along the pedestrian path immediately outside of Whitstable Train Station’s London bound platform to join Stream Walk more quickly and in a clearer manner
- Improved cycle signage including a painted path down Stream Walk to distinguish it as a cycle path
- A new painted cycle lane along Tower Parade encouraging residents to the Harbour from Tankerton
- Introduction of a one way system for cars along Marine Parade and a new cycle corridor from Whitstable Castle down to Long Rock Skatepark – bypassing the Promenade.
- Introduction of an cycle path running the opposite direction from Long Rock Skatepark down Tankerton Road until Castle Road. Reallocating the eight houses who would loose parking outside of their house space within Tankerton Coach park.
- New cycle racks outside Whitstable Library to serve Whistable Junior School and in Gladstone Road Car Park to serve shoppers
- A new cycle racks outside the Co-Op on Cromwell Road and improved cycle racks on the Coast bound side of Whitstable Train Station
Whilst these plans have only been presented to Kent County Council for consideration they provide them with some ideas tested out with members of the local community and will hopefully provide some food for thought. Gorrell councillors are now working with Kent County Council to ensure this new money can be spent for the benefit of Whitstable residents.