A Ramsgate district councillor is calling for 20mph speed limits across the town and the replacement of bollards and repairs to lighting in Addington Street after the front of a Grade II listed building was destroyed by a hit and run driver.
The property, at 41 Addington Street, was hit by the vehicle at 11pm yesterday (September 24). The car also knocked down a lamppost and hit several other vehicles before the driver fled.
A person who had been asleep in the building at the time of the crash was given accommodation by the nearby Falstaff Hotel.
The incident has increased local concerns about safety on the street and the need to address it before there is another crash.
Central Harbour Green Councillor Becky Wing was alerted to the incident by a resident who was “woken by what sounded like an explosion.”
Witnesses say the driver appeared to have been under the influence of alcohol and lost control at speed before driving into the property and then fleeing the scene.
This morning the area around the building has been sectioned off by scaffolding, the front is supported but there to be little left of the lower part of the historic property.
Councillor Wing said: “There are ongoing issues with speeding not just long Addington Street, which is one way, but across Ramsgate and something has to be done.
“Locals and myself have witnessed regular speeding along Addington Street, mounting of the curb by large vehicles and even an excessive number of cars actually going the wrong way, and there are no present measures in place to stop this.
“A number of years ago a property further down the street, the then Suzy Nina Interiors shop, suffered similar damage again from a speeding car. The situation is not helped by missing bollards placed to protect the various historic buildings and new lighting that at present is simply not working.
“After the collapse of one lamppost, another leaning badly had to be taken down and has yet to be replaced. In addition, the lighting units attached to a number of buildings do not work and have not been upgraded by KCC.
“KCC appears not to have undertaken any maintenance of either bollards or lampposts for a number of years and has failed to replace many of those they have removed. Some basic repairs to the road were undertaken recently but it remains in a terrible state, as for the drains, one on Spencer Street is completely blocked and has now rewilded itself.”
Due to mounting concerns Cllr Wing has now met with a representative from the ’20 is plenty’ campaign group and says the community will get behind a reduction of speed on Addington Street and hopefully along other roads.
She added: “This needs the support of Thanet council and especially KCC. There is a strong community presence in this part of Ramsgate, people look out for each other and take a pride in their surroundings but need the help of TDC, KCC and the police to tackle many issues including dangerous driving which clearly puts people and properties at risk.
“This event could have been much more serious given there was an adult asleep at the time in the property. Thankfully they are OK. Interestingly, many locals have mentioned the positive effects of having bunting up for the recent Addington Street Revival Fair, one being that it seems to reduce/slow traffic and larger vehicles stop using it as a short-cut and cars as a ‘rat run’.”
Kent Police has confirmed officers are making enquiries into the crash.
A spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called to a report of a single-vehicle collision in Addington Street, Ramsgate at around 11pm yesterday.
“Officers attended the scene where damage had been caused to a building, a lamppost and a number of parked cars. There were no reported injuries.
“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of the incident and locate the driver who had left the area before police arrived.”
Number 41 Addington Street was Grade II listed in 1976. The house and shop dates to a period circa 1801-21.