One-way system on pavements being considered as part of Covid-safe high street measures

Covid secure measures to help with distancing for shoppers

Further Covid-secure measures for Thanet’s high streets and seafronts are being considered by the district council, including one way systems on pavements and using parking bays along Marine Drive in Margate to widen the pavement.

Temporary road closures and suspended parking bays were among some of the highway changes in Margate’s Old Town and Ramsgate’s Harbour Parade introduced by Thanet council on Saturday, July 18, to help prevent overcrowding and enable social distancing.

The changes are part of a raft of Reopening High Streets Safely (RHSS) temporary measures to help successfully kickstart Thanet’s economy and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

With peak season now here, the aim of the project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is to create a pleasant environment for visitors to the high street, allow more space for shoppers to be socially distant and enable pedestrian flow.


The following changes are being trialled for a period of three months and their effectiveness is being continually monitored. The measures have been introduced in consultation with the Highways Authority (Kent County Council.)

  • Temporarily suspending 14 parking bays along Harbour Parade in Ramsgate, from Little Ships through to The Queens Head, in order to widen the pavement.
  • Temporarily shutting off The Parade in Margate which is very narrow.
  • Limiting traffic by making King Street, Market Street and Lombard Street in Margate Old Town access only.
  • Converting the decommissioned bus stop on the main seafront section of The Parade (Margate) into a loading bay to help support businesses. Civil Enforcement Officers are carrying out targeted enforcement in this area while the change embeds.

Businesses have been contacted by the council and are aware of the action taken to support reopening. They have been encouraged to provide feedback.

Based on initial comments, the council will put up signs in Margate Old Town confirming ‘Businesses open as usual’. Some of the barriers along Harbour Parade, Ramsgate will be removed to allow people to leave premises with greater ease and to cross the road more safely.

‘Recovery process’

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Rick Everitt said: “We are doing as much as possible to support our high streets and help the recovery process. But we have to balance that with the safety and wellbeing of people visiting and working in our town centres when COVID-19 has not gone away.

“We’re expecting a high number of visitors this summer and we all need to take responsibility to follow social distancing guidelines. We hope that these temporary measures will make it safer and easier for people to support our local high streets.

“While these measures cover Margate and Ramsgate, it’s important to be clear that we have been in discussions with other town and parish councils across Thanet, as well as relevant ward councillors. We have taken account of what they told us in respect of their areas. If needed, there is scope for a decision around where additional schemes may occur in the future.

“We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to provide us with their feedback. We are continually reviewing comments and have already made changes as a direct result of feedback received.”

The council says it is aware of issues with people removing barriers and signs. CCTV is in operation in both locations and is being closely monitored, along with patrols of the area. Any person that moves the barrier causing danger to users of the highway is guilty of an offence under the Highways Act 1980 and liable to a maximum fine of £1000.

A dedicated information page for businesses is available at


  1. This is only any good if it is enforced. Westwood Cross has a one-way system, but there’s still no social distancing!

  2. its a load of rubbish. taking away parking much needed for less able bodied people and giving it not to the pedestrians, but to the bar and cafe owners who now take up the entire space with their outdoor seating. forcing pedestrians into the road again. its ridiculous

  3. I think it’s a brilliant idea. For too long our town centres have been virtual no go areas to all except motor vehicles.

  4. Where are the officers to enforce the restrictions and stop tables and chairs taking up the whole pavement area? Why are cars parked all day in the defunct bus stop? What happened to the promised restrictions in Northdown Road shopping street? It’s a big free for all with no social distancing and vehicles speeding through. TDC had money from Government to plan this all out but not much has been done with it all. Where has this money gone?

  5. It’s obvious objectors are car users for far to long car drivers have been parking on pavements regarding there is yellow lines pavements are narrow it’s the driver’s themselves that force people on to the road.With cafes and restaurants and bars they pay to put there chairs and tables outside. Don’t these people to ignorant to realize these type of premisses cannot have many customers inside because of covid.There is some traders who take it into their own hands and remove these barriers. Some new traders should open everyday during the season and all year round instead of relying on visitors only and lock out locals.The high streets need to survive all the year round.

  6. Easy, pavements = keep Left (just like our roads).
    Parking, no chance. (People park when they like, where they like).

  7. The council idea of reduced parking,opening up the area for pedestrians was first mooted here 2 weeks ago. Why was it not introduced 2 weeks ago,council has the power…
    One way street walking,similar was introduced in some supermarkets but many shoppers did not seem to get the idea.
    Have seen street one way walking during parades,marches,carnival activity s,its awfully difficult & expensive to police.
    Really need tdc personnel proactively visiting business’s,to give advice where covid19 guidelines are not being enforced.
    See some pavements are get blocked by seating,standing,smoking,queuing,socialising. checking premises during the day/night time economy actually have a valid outside license (if required) and check the license requirements.

  8. Ofcourse none of the measures apply to those walking along talking gibberish on their mobile phones , that seem to be in their own world obvious to whats happening around them !

  9. You say a one way system on pavements is being considered but pavements in dome parts of Broadstsirs are only about two feet wide.
    Also in some places footpaths are so narrow that on dustbin day the pavement is like an obstacle course with all the bin bags turning footpaths into a slalom. As we are expected to keep one metre apart on the pavement that means somebody is going to be forced to walk in the road at risk from oncoming traffic.

Comments are closed.