Several Thanet projects are included in the first wave of schemes announced by Kent County Council to encourage walking and cycling.
Signs for 35 roads designated as 20mph zones in Margate town have been going up today (August 10).
The schemes are being introduced through an Experimental Traffic Order meaning they will all be installed by mid-September and a consultation will run afterwards to decide whether to make them permanent.
Restrictions run from Nayland roundabout to Trinity Square and up to the Winter Gardens on the approach to Cliftonville.
Margate county councillor Barry Lewis said: “This is fantastic news for Margate. It will mean safer roads for families and I will be pressuring for more schemes in Thanet over the next few years.”
There are also several other traffic changes across the isle.
Harbour Street and Albion Street, Broadstairs
Through traffic will be stopped from using Albion Street from the junction with Charlotte Street to the entrance to Albion Street car park. The scheme will create a new pedestrianised zone between 10am and 10pm. Access will be maintained for deliveries, pedestrians, cyclists and buses
School Street – Drapers Mills Academy, Margate
In addition to this, signs and road narrowing on College Road will warn drivers of the changes and help to slow down traffic passing the school.
A Park and Stride site will be established with access to an improved public right of way five minutes’ walk from the site. Public Footpath TM4 and Public Bridleway TM5 will see full vegetation clearance, route surfaces scraped and renewed to maximise width and improve safety.
Station Road, Westgate-On-Sea
A one-way system heading west between Roxburgh Road and St Mildred’s Road will be created, including changes to parking bays to encourage active travel whilst promoting social distancing in a shared space.
Planters, seating and bolt down lane delineators will be used to reallocate road space. Bus operation will be unaffected.
The trials form part of the government’s push for ‘active travel’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Kent County Council has provisionally been allocated just over £8 million by the Department for Transport to invest in walking and cycling.
The first round of funding that has been agreed by government is £1.6 million with the remainder dependent on this being spent within eight weeks.
A second wave of schemes will be dependent on the government’s decision to award further funding. A submission was made this week and further schemes will be announced once funding has been confirmed.
Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “Kent Highways has been successful in being granted 100% of the money that we were able to bid for in the first stage.
“This means the first wave of schemes can now be put in place. These schemes are ready to roll having been chosen by officers from among the many ideas that have been worked on.
“If these initial trials are successful, and we subsequently receive the second tranche of monies that the Government has said it is prepared to allocate to Kent, even more schemes will be rolled out.
“We have to be realistic in that the first round of schemes will not satisfy everyone who has made suggestions, but by concept testing, in a way that has not been previously affordable, we have the chance to encourage more cycling and walking and make our roads safer for all users.”