Kent County Council is asking people not to contact them after being deluged with emails about new ‘temporary’ road schemes in areas including Broadstairs and Westgate.
The authority installed the traffic measures this week with the Broadstairs scheme due to go live from September 25.
The scheme for Broadstairs, which will initially run for 18 months. includes a bus gate in Albion Street between the junctions of Alexandra Road and Harbour Street.
The Bus Gate bans all vehicles from that section of road apart from buses on local services, pedal bikes and licensed taxis.
There is also a pedestrian and cycle zone on Albion Street at the car park and its junction with High Street. The zone operates from 10am through to 10pm daily, except for use by cycles, licensed taxis and for access only, including access to and from Harbour Street Car Park.
Disabled bays have also been removed from outside the Albion Hotel.
Kent County Council says the work is being done to help achieve social-distancing to promote economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic. A one-way system has also be put in place in Westgate and 20mph zones installed in Margate.
But KCC has been deluged with emails about the schemes.
Ward councillor Ruth Bailey says issues raised with KCC about the Broadstairs scheme so far include;
- more effective communication of the plans
- more effective enforcement of the scheme & potential use of ANPR
- problems around deliveries
- turning and manoeuvring issues
- disabled access and parking
- appropriate & adequate signage
- the impact on surrounding residential roads
- legitimate access issues and whether residents should have permits
KCC says: “Each of the schemes are being progressed as trials, if the trial schemes are well received then they may be made permanent, but this will be based on feedback and usage data from the trial period of operation which can run for up to 18 months.
“We are logging all comments, objections and suggestions in relation to these schemes and your views will be considered when making a decision regarding how best to proceed, and whether amendments need to be made during the trial period. There have already been some changes on the ground following feedback from members of the public.
“Many customers are raising similar questions in relation to the schemes and we ask that all customers review the FAQ’s section and other details on the active travel fund webpage. Please see the following link: https://www.kent.gov.uk/…/active-travel-fund-projects
“Please do not contact us again, as we unable to give you a personalised reply due to the unprecedented volume of enquiries we are receiving. We apologise that we are not able to provide the normal level of customer service that we usually strive to provide. Rest assured your comments are being considered.”
KCC says due to the need commit funds quickly it was not possible to allow time consultation. The authority was allocated just over £8 million by the Department for Transport to invest in walking and cycling.
The first round of funding was £1.6 million but the remainder was dependent on this being spent within eight weeks.
Not all response has been negative, there are residents who have praised the changes and the encouragement for more walking and cycling.