Pedestrian only zones to be created in Margate and Ramsgate

Pedestrians only for the Old Town Photo Frank Leppard

A temporary pedestrianised zone will be put in place in Margate from tomorrow (July 4) ahead of planned schemes for other sites.

Thanet council says that a scheme to help with social distancing as pubs and restaurants reopen will include temporary changes to traffic management and pedestrian access to the streets around Margate Old Town, Marine Drive, Margate and Harbour Parade, Ramsgate. This will start with the temporary pedestrianisation of The Parade service road in Margate as of this Saturday.

Further details of additional schemes will be announced shortly and individual businesses in the area are being contacted directly.  The plans are part of the Reopening High Streets Safely (RHSS) project which is paid for by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Thanet District Council has been working with businesses to ensure they are putting measures in place to maintain social distancing and keep customers and staff safe.

The changes include devising queuing systems, changes to payment processes, introducing table service and new booking mechanisms.

Alongside this Thanet council has introduced signs in the main shopping areas to promote social distancing and encourage pedestrians to keep to the left wherever possible to ease flow.

Deputy Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Helen Whitehead said: “We know that many of you want to be able to support local businesses again and we have been working with them to ensure they are putting measures in place to maintain social distancing and keep customers and staff safe.

“While things will start to look more like normal, I would urge everyone to remember that we are still in a pandemic. Social distancing rules still apply and, although relaxation of some guidelines is welcomed, it is vital that we are responsible, considerate and entirely protective of those members of our community who are most vulnerable.

“Particularly as bars and restaurants open, I want to remind people not only to act responsibly but also to respect our towns. Social distancing is still in place, whether we are outdoors, shopping, or resuming work. These regulations are in place for a reason, and it isn’t to inconvenience, it isn’t an afterthought – it is to protect all of us and ensure that the infection rate does not rise again.

“Please look after yourselves and others. We are all depending on our ability as a community to care for each other, and I know that this hugely supportive community is more than capable of doing so.”

Businesses have been urged to display a poster that lets customers know what measures have been taken to ensure they’re COVID-19 secure. It is a universal way to show that the Government guidelines are being followed.

Pubs, bars and restaurants are all operating differently in order to meet the guidelines they’ve been set. Those who are opening from this weekend are putting a variety of measures in place to ensure the safety of both staff and customers.

Tourism businesses have been invited to sign up to Visit Britain’s “We’re Good to Go” kitemark – a way for local residents and visitors to be confident that the business is adhering to the relevant Government and public health guidance, has carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and has all the necessary checks and procedures in place to ensure customer and staff safety.

Visit Thanet’s website: https://www.visitthanet.co.uk/knowbefore/ for details of the places that are reopening or have opened.

Residents and businesses affected by the changes to parking, loading and unloading in the areas where temporary schemes are being introduced are being contacted directly with advice on the access arrangements which include Resident Parking Permit holders in Margate Old Town having use of the Market Street car park.

Thanet pubs, hotels, hairdressers and restaurants among those getting ready for July 4 reopening

12 Comments

  1. The link for reopening places above takes you to something different. No list of reopening places on it.
    I thought TDC was going to include Northdown Road in the pedestrianised zones but that seems to have been all BS as nothing is being prepared there. Is it too difficult for them?

  2. A shame they haven’t done they same for Station Road in Westgate, as that would be very easy to do (as proven during Christmas markets and the recent footbridge replacement). Birchington (where there are a lot of vulnerable elderly people) and the narrow end near the sea in Broadstairs would also be very useful though I guess that would be more difficult, as would the constant rat-run through the otherwise picturesque village of St. Peters.

  3. I wonder what police presence there will be to support social distancing and encourage positive public behaviour? Over the last few weeks the chaos that I’ve seen with large groups of people acting like feral kids does not bode well for the grand opening of our bars & restaurants. There’s no respect or order and the local police seem to be running scared. Sadly I will be giving it all a wide birth.

  4. I must admit that I am very dubious about this whole “We are free! It’s all over! Go and get drunk!” propaganda push at the moment and I will NOT be joining in.
    But, when I think about the general configuration of Margate Old Town (not so long ago it was just the old bit of Margate, but I digress) I can see pedestrianisation working as long as the weather is decent and people don’t just go inside.
    There IS a fair amount of space outside for tables and chairs and a wind off the sea can howl through sometimes, keeping the air clear.
    So it might well work. Good idea. But, in the end, we have to remember that the virus is still circulating and it will be circulating a lot more after this weekend.
    Just check the “small print” in all of Boris Johnson’s recent speeches. He starts with lots of cheery enthusiasm for “opening up the economy” and “world-beating Britain” (why we would want to beat the world, I don’t know. Just being as successful as others in overcoming Corona would be an improvement). But in the “small print” later , he always adds warnings about “be careful” and “be sensible ” and “using British common-sense”(anybody who can work out how British common-sense is different from anybody else’s is probably not using common sense). By adding these later warnings , he can blame the British public, or the parts of it gullible enough to follow his advice, for any re-infection rates that must inevitably follow. It won’t be his fault. And, given the poor testing and tracing being messed-up by the private companies given the juicy contracts to keep us safe, we will probably hardly know anything accurate about the levels of infection to come, anyway.

    • Or people could jump on the scales , if they don’t have a sub 27 bmi do something about it and get a bit fitter. It’d make the effects of covid , should they catch it, far less serious , be far better for the nhs than a bit of a clap and be hugely beneficial for society as a whole. USA and UK both with hugely overweight unfit populations and both having a hard time with covid.
      Quite why an inability to keep the fridge door shut is the governments fault, but being obese and catching covid is akin to jumping in front of a bus ( not good for you) not doing the latter is common sense, why isn’t looking after your health?

  5. Hopefully some area has been made available for the homeless or persons acting to be homeless.

    they have good reason to sit close on benches for many hours a day,which can become their sleep area.

    tdc need a wake up call re homeless and similar.

    its 2020 and still no policy enacted on a permanent solution via my eyes although charity is available some see that as a welcome to thanet.

    its so easy to make Thanet better. Its become an ever increasing cess pit of you may know what !

    My eyes = my comments.

  6. An excellent idea. Ramsgate has a developing (but for the ravages of CV) alfresco cafe culture, both along the Arches and Harbour Parade.
    Anything that helps promote this is good.

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