Athelstan Road approved for 20mph limit – but residents told to stump up £4.5k costs themselves

Athelstan Road residents need to find the cash to implement the scheme

A 20mph speed limit has been agreed for Athelstan Road in Cliftonville – but residents have been told to stump up the cash to implement it themselves.

The restriction was agreed in principle for Athelstan Road in July after a campaign from Athelstan Road Tenants & Residents’ Association (ARTRA) and sponsorship from county councillor Barry Lewis.

ARTRA chairman Matt Shoul said the call for the speed restriction followed two incidents of children under 10 being hit by cars and both requiring hospital treatment for shoulder and hip injuries respectively.

KCC had agreed to pay for monitoring existing speeds on Athelstan Road and comparison speeds after signage and  road markings have been installed.

No funding

But Cllr Lewis says the residents will now have to find a way to raise the £4,500 needed for signs and legal zone changes to get the scheme going.

He said: “KCC agreed the scheme but are refusing to fund it out of their budget which I find surprising as they have funded schemes in Tunbridge Wells and the Isle of Sheppey for the past two years,

“KCC will not fund Athelstan Road because  they say their risk assessment shows there is not a danger to residents even though we pointed out two children have been injured before.

“I am very disappointed that yet again KCC is treating Margate residents as second class citizens.”

Mr Shoul said: “ARTRA understand that KCC have approved the community decision to have a 20mph zone on Athelstan Road, following their post-summer holiday analysis of data from KCC’s speed check research on Athelstan Road, throughout September.

Athelstan Road residents want the speed restriction

“However, KCC have refused to pay for the installation of speed restriction signs and 20mph painted onto the street and all legal zone changes associated with a new speed restriction, which amounts to £4,500.”

Cllr Lewis says he is now talking to other local organisations, including Thanet council, about the possibility of funding.

In the past, 20mph zones followed Department for Transport guidance which said they could be introduced, for example, as a casualty reduction measure or to improve public health.

To date, Kent has more than 1,000 roads with a 20mph zone or limit. In the past two years, 22 schemes covering 286 roads have been put in place.

The county council has now moved to a case by case approach for introducing schemes which have strong community support and a sponsor, such as a county councillor/parish or town council/ or a member of the local Joint Transportation Board.

Salmestone Ward Residents Association is also proposing to bring in the 20mph speed limit across the ward.


  1. I’d like to see a breakdown of costs. How can they possibly be £4.5k for a pot of white paint and a couple of signs (made in a prison workshop?).

    • It’s something like £1.5K for the signs on posts & the street marking, with approx. £3K for legally altering the speed zone for the street, as I understand it.

  2. I have asked same question, Tory kcc have handed contract to private company AMEY , and as an elected councillor I am not allowed to see figures due to what is called “business confidentially “ CRAZY

    • Absolute nonsense that the costings are confidential or commercially sensitive when those costs are coming out of the pockets of the individuals that live in Athelstan Road. KCC is publicly accountable and cannot hide behind “business confidentially” – KCC is not a privately operated business, it is a public utility even if it subcontracts the works to a private company.

      The Residents’ Association is entitled to an itemised invoice if it is, in effect, going to be the “end client” who is picking up the bill.

  3. What the point no one in Thanet seems to stick to the speed limit take Broadstairs for example perhaps speed bumps might be the answer

    • Thanet has to be the worst place in the uk for such poor standard of driving. But at least thanet can lay claim to starting the new craze of turning right from the left hand lane on roundabouts. I haven’t come across it anywhere else in the uk

    • Getting Athelstan Road zoned as 20mph is just a first step – once it’s actually illegal to drive over 20mph, further enforcement can be addressed, when boy/girl racers inevitably ignore the signs & see if they can hit 50mph/60mph before slamming on the brakes just feet from Ethelbert Crescent.

  4. You will be pleased to know that Amey is being sold by its Spanish owner Ferrovial for a reported £2.7bn. It made £11m in pretax profits which are up 14% on the previous year.
    Apparently there is a delay because of the Birmingham PFI contract, which it has wanted to exit earlier than the March deadline. It will have to write off £215m in order to end the contract, which will be added to the £617m already written off by Ferrovial.
    There’s your £4,500.

    • Many thanks – it’s a bizarre figure for two metal poles, a couple of signs & a few road markings, plus the legal paperwork – guess theirs a hefty profit margin slapped on top, being a private company, not a state owned service…

  5. There are many nearby roads similar to Athelstan Road which could do with 20 mph restrictions, including Dalby Square and Arthur Road where cars speed down towards the childrens playground and out into Ethelbert Crescent. Why not have a block 20 mph zone in these roads instead of picking odd roads. It’s not just children being knocked down either but why are these incidents not showing up on the KCC accident website? This is typical nonesense by those in charge of implementation of schemes at KCC Highways. They take no notice of anyone.

    • Athelstan Road has effectively been a *test case*, to put the KCC policy change achieved by KCC Cllr Barry Lewis into practice – previously any zoning change required a *fatality*, but since Barry Lewis’ intervention, KCC policy has become dependent on a community decision to have a safer street with lower residential street speed limits. Now that a 20mph limit has successfully been approved by KCC, it ought to set a precedent allowing other streets to get the same result, if their community decides that’s what they want.

      ARTRA are only to happy to discuss the process with any interested street associations & community groups & with KCC Cllr. Barry Lewis’ support/sponsorship, the zone could easily encompass a more significant area of residential streets where the traffic laws are perpetually flouted.

      Once the zone is established, campaigning on enforcement &/or additional traffic calming measures can be tackled.

      • If as you say rules of the road are perpetually flouted, surely it needs the police to be involved in catching those that do so. In the absence of doing so why is it assumed that anymore notice will be taken of the proposed speed limits than those already in place.
        Are the incidents that occur the result of the rules being flouted ?

  6. Kent residents, to answer your sensible question, the residents of the area have to request it. As the area in cliftonville do not have a town council or active residents association I cannot approach kcc, the way forward as you advise is to cover a larger area, which we have done in the Salmestone ward (54 roads) they have been balloted recently and the result will be announced on Wednesday (6th) evening by Salmestone ward association. If you want a 20 miles speed limit please contact me so I can advise

  7. Have a look at, zoom in on cliftonville and have a look at athelstan road, it has just about the highest density of incidents, call me naive but so many accidents associated with one road has to say something about those that live in the road and use it, pointless having a restriction that’ll be ignored , there’s hardly going to be a police presence to enforce it.

    The road system in the area is bonkers, the junction out of dalby square onto ethelbert crescent is an accident waiting to happen, the parking provided in front of the cafe and bowling alley completely obscures the view that way, and in no way gives the visibility splay that is required, turning left the curb is so square on the corner you need to cross the centre line to turn, not sure who designed it but its plain daft.

Comments are closed.