‘Bus gate’ scheme in Broadstairs to be scrapped

'Bus gate' in Broadstairs Photo Mel Chennell

A traffic scheme in Broadstairs installed this month which included a bus gate on Albion Street banning all vehicles except for buses, taxis and cycles is to be scrapped.

The Kent County Council ‘traffic order’ was expected to be trialled for 18 months but the authority has now confirmed that it will be completely removed.

It was was one of several implemented across the county as part of the government’s push for ‘active travel’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. This aims to encourage people to walk and cycle rather than use cars or public transport.

However, KCC says the scheme is not working, especially as motorists are ignoring the bus gate restrictions.

Broadstairs Photo Mel Chennell

A KCC spokesman said: “We have decided to remove the temporary Harbour Street and Albion Street scheme in Broadstairs.

“All changes introduced by the trial scheme will be removed as it is not giving us the anticipated benefits of promoting safe social distancing and an increase in opportunities for walking and cycling.

“One of the reasons this scheme did not work was compliance with the bus gate – we did not want to prohibit or negatively impact upon buses but vehicles continued to ignore the restrictions.

“We are going to work closely with the local KCC members, the MP and the town council to launch a public consultation around the future opportunities that could support summer trade and traffic pinch points.

“We would like to thank everyone that has given us feedback on this trial scheme and your comments will help shape any future schemes in the area.”

The removal follows that of the one-way system in Westgate that had been installed as part of the same scheme. Removal of that system took place today (September 30).

KCC had been given eight weeks to install the changes using £1.6million of an £8million grant awarded  by the government. The authority used an Experimental Traffic Order. The experimental orders can be carried out without public consultation.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said: “The removal of the Albion Street scheme is very welcome and I would like to thank those senior Council members and officers with whom I met to discuss this and have a full exchange of views.

“The proposal was ill-thought out from the start and created new ‘rat-runs’ via Carlton Avenue, Lindenthorpe Road, Crow Hill and Nelson Place, increasing distance travelled for no good purpose.

“Now I want to look to the future and explore different, more workable ideas to address congestion issues in the town and the Isle more generally in order to support our fantastic tourist and hospitality businesses but ensuring that local residents’ views form the backbone of any future plans.”

Westgate one-way system to be removed after huge ‘community push’


  1. I see the selfish car lobby are at it again I hope they don’t get the viris when not social distancing. What about the future of the planet for future generations and there children so selfish walking and cycling is more healthy for people.

    • Actually Brian, i think this blanket option is rather narrow minded. I live very near to “bus gate”, I try not to use my car very much but I need to drop my daughter off at school (Ramsgate) so to drive up Crow Hill across and back down the high street is nonsensical. Like many, many KCC schemes, this has not been adequately thought out…and has failed.

      • Martha, KCC is Tory-led and has rightly come to sense and scrapped this. Labour would have kept voting on the idea, then held another vote, and then held another vote on that vote. Dither and delay!

        Also keep an eye out, because, word around KCC is that Barry Lewis’s 20mph sham schemes will also be removed in the coming months.

  2. What a joke! So KCC have just wasted £1.6 million on this crazy idea! You couldn’t make it up! People are desperate for food and we waste £1.6 million on a harebrained scheme which the biggest percentage of Broadstairs residents would have voted against had they been asked.

  3. Just need the Margate Traffic Jam removed now. The way this has been done without public consultation is the issue. The highways managers who thought them up just don’t know the areas properly or understand the traffic problems caused by these changes.
    What a waste of money which could have been used more constructively if they had asked the public.

  4. With both the Westgate and Broadstairs schemes being scrapped, it makes me wonder how many other similar schemes throughout not only Kent but the whole country are also being chopped. And how much money is it all costing? Money that is much needed by NHS, food banks, funds for those losing their jobs / companies etc. I wonder if those at KCC who made the decisions to implement these schemes have actually learned any lessons? That of course would mean them admitting they made a mistake, so have my doubts!

  5. Sack the idiots in the ivory towers of county hall that thought up and implemented a system that virtually nobody wanted ! Ask the residents of broadstairs what we want !

  6. This is ridiculous. It hasn’t had a chance to be tried out. I trust KCC will do the decent thing and return the money spent to the Government and forgo the remainder of the £8m

  7. KCC and TDC seem so corrupt… I doubt the majority have any faith in their ability to make any decent decisions with the publics best interests at heart. Shocking and another disappointing outcome that no one will be surprised at apart from KCC/TDC staff I suspect…

    • D what makes you think this has anything to do with TDC? It was KCC alone that came up with these schemes. TDC have no control on this sort of thing. But what a waste of money. Who ever at KCC signed these and other similar schemes across Kent that have to be removed so soon. Should be held to account.

  8. The scheme was not given a chance. There were many issues with its implementation BUT it was finally something being done about the appalling overburdened roads.
    I supported the scheme.

  9. I have looked at all comments are you walking about with rose couloured glasses and look how narrow the roads are
    and narrow pavements.If they were having to walk on the road as selfish motorist have no regard for pedestrians by blocking the narrow pavement.
    These towns were never designed for cars. As far as Margate being clogged up since the introduction of 20mph speed limit cars are moving more spaced out to keep traffic moving. It’s not necessary for car drivers to deliberately drive through Cecil square. There are other ways to go.

  10. They should have put up cameras and insta fined drivers with penalty charge notices.

    Drivers ignoring the bus gate were breaking the law.

    • It’s not against the law. It’s decriminalized and enforced by the council under the Traffic Management Act 2004.

      There is an offence of failing to comply with signals and signs that carries 3 points and a fine but that has to be prosecuted by the police and they’ve never done that.

      Get your facts right Jay.

      • Thank you for setting me straight TheBox. I stand corrected.

        Nevertheless my point still stands – Council should have been issuing PCNs to people ignoring the new road markings. Sounds like it would have been a nice little earner by the sounds of it.

  11. If the scheme was to totally pedestrianise ie no bus gate no buses no taxis etc and allow businesses to have tables and chairs etc in the street during summer I can see the benefits, but as it is its pointless and just causes inconvenience and also sticking a great big road blocking planter on Thanet road to stop access to Albion street, what idiot thought that one up, what about emergency services and access after and before 10am/pm! Total waste of tax payers money.

  12. Remove the lights at Lord of the Manor,would work just as a standard roundabout ,total cock up, bloody KCC couldn’t run a raffle !!!!

  13. The whole of Thanet needs a complete rethink on roads and traffic control. I vote not to send buses via Albion Street.

  14. All we need now is KCC to change the 20 mph seafront scheme at Margate to end at the Turner gallery. Why it goes to the Winter Gardens is a mystery that only KCC will ever understand.

    It would be more use if it was only in force May to September when it could be justified, but the it wouldn’the be the cash cow it will become during the winter.

  15. What a shame this has been scrapped it made good sense to pedestrianise this little street there are other ways to reach the front without causing disruptions and danger to walkers those lazy People who flouted the restrictions need to get out of their cars a bit more unless under medical reasons they are unable to do so.i always thought a one way system needs to be put in place and I don’t even drive

  16. The only bus that goes down Alion St is the no 37 which runs four times a day and is a life line to so many people l don’t think stopping this would change anything

  17. I live right in the thick of this and the noise from the cars, motorbikes and the idiot drivers arguing and fighting amongst themselves every single day is a complete nightmare to live with. This scheme was very welcome as the traffic is always ridiculous, and the people driving the roads drive at ridiculous speeds at all times of the day and night. The scheme was just starting to kick in and it’s actually functioning very well as the traffic has reduced significantly since it was introduced. Most residents of Broadstairs don’t live on this street, but for those who do, the reduction in traffic and minimising loud, aggressive and selfish drivers being in the area, is something we strongly vote for. What a stupid decision it is to revoke this.

  18. If you see a sign saying ‘Bus Gate’ what does it mean!!!! Why not no cars etc for this time period?? no wonder people just drive through it. Also the road by the Dolphin isn’t really the right road to think I can’t go this way,I will make a 3 point turn!!!

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