Barrier to be installed at Military Road to stop ‘rat run’ motorists

Ramsgate harbour

Thanet council will  install a barrier and CCTV at Military Road in Ramsgate to stop motorists using it as a rat run.

The road, which runs along the quayside at the harbour’s inner marina, is frequently used by vehicles as an alternative route in and out of Ramsgate via the port access road and Royal Harbour Approach tunnel.

Thanet council says the road is not an adopted public highway and has speed bumps fitted to keep vehicle speed down but the frequency of vehicle use has slowly increased over recent years.

To remove the option of using this route as a ‘rat run’ in and out of the town, council leader  Cllr Ash Ashbee, has requested a vehicle barrier be installed outside the Ice House on Military Road.

A similar barrier existed here until 2018 but was frequently vandalised.  To reduce the risk of this in future, the barrier and adjacent area will be covered by high definition CCTV with signs about the control measure.

The barrier will be electronically controlled and all port and harbour customers will be able to pass through it using their existing access fobs which are already used to access other harbour facilities.

The barrier is a rising boom type which will be fitted with red led lights along the boom for visibility and safety. It will be funded from existing revenue budgets and will be installed in September 2021.


  1. So TDC can spend money on a barrier and cctv to block off this road , but can,t find the money to pay for Lifts to work ! Says it all !

  2. Presumably there will be separate fobs for HGVs and those fobs will work only on days when the tunnel is closed. After all, Bretts have stated that their neighbours are very important to them, so they wouldn’t want to cause us any unnecessary distress 😉

  3. I ride along there a fair bit on my motorbike on the way home, even the old barrier could be ridden around, why shouldnt i use the tunnel road and come home along the harbour

      • yet people who own or rent businesses down there or use the marina and cafes can all drive down there and through to the port and tunnel? ive used that route for 40 odd years and no ones ever said a thing about the cars down there

        • Their businesses are also encroaching further onto the unadopted road. Do they also pay for the repairs to the road?

  4. Can we also have a barrier for the East Pier and make Harbour Parade pedestrian please.

    • Yes, i would love to see harbour parade & east pier which has so much potential to be pedestrianised but unfortunately its going to be one of the access roads to the existing businesses, blueberry development and the new hotel. Although access could be limited.

      So much could be down that part of town but it needs those in power to get their fingers out and actually make a difference.

      So the previous barrier was vandalised and tdc think cctv is going to prevent further vandal attack.
      Iirc, our lovely country has so many cctv cameras already and vandalism, crime, assaults are not decreasing.

      The new barrier will become damaged, hopefully the new super cctv cameras will identify the naughty people enough so arrests will happen. Then tdc can claim back money for reinstatement.

      Just looking into the lovely sunny sky for a formation of pigs flying by..

    • Could not agree more!
      Was chaos at Christmas with people doing laps to look at the lights alongside all the pedestrians walking there

  5. Have to agree with Steve that motorbikes should have access to Military road and beyond.
    More importantly the Gypsy and Traveller’s community need to be given access fobs to raise barriers as they travel back and forth to camp site. Heaven forbid they are denied access. If barrier is successful and tunnel becomes obsolete could the tunnel become permanent Gypsy and Traveller’s Camp site offering dry conditions and shelter from the wind.

  6. I wonder if this is being done to make the travellers use the tunnel and not military road for access to the port !

    • The only problem with the anpr camera idea is. If you are living in a caravan, you just do not pay fines.

  7. The road was always meant to be a town by-pass and not just to the new port, but Ramsgate Harbour too. Itwas always used as a road before the tunnel was built -what has changed?
    The twee transition of the working arches into boozeries that have little regard for the double yellow lines, indeed haphazard parking.
    In addition to the need for lorries and other to use this road and as access to the Western Undercliff Beach on days when the tunnel is shut or indeed for a period of maintenance, what happens then?
    How many vehicles are using it as a so-called rat run? Why are they using it?
    Provided low speeds are observed I don’t understand what the real reason is for doing this?

    • When the tunnel is closed for maintenance… da daah! They open the barrier!
      Too many cars are speeding, which is one reason the road is being closed.
      The tunnel was built to take port traffic in the days we had a ferry. It can still take port traffic..Sheesh.

      • How many vehicles are speeding, where and why isn’t there a speed trap?
        My point about the road is that TDC says it is not an adopted highway, but it functions as one and perhaps adoption would solve proper highway regulations.

        Neither do you seem to have anything useful to say about TDC’s pathetic road management in front of the boozeries in the arches.

        Sheesh – what a canute!

        • A little point Tony. The speed limit by the harbour is 10 mph.most vehicles I see go faster so most are speeding.

          • How fast can you really speed for how many metres gap between the speedbumps, i know ive had the sign flash im doing just over 10mph form time to time, but not for long,those speed bumps are so high they would slow anything down and any motorbike trying to go over them at speed wouldnt end well!

          • I was nearly killed by a speeding car last Friday, when out on my bike! I had stopped at the junction with Montefiore Road, and Dumpton Park Road, and wanted to turn right. I looked right and saw a car so far in the distance it looked like a speck, I turned and looked left and it was all clear, I turned to look right again, and at the same time started to push off, and at that moment the car that had been a speck in the distance, was about 50 meters from me! It was travelling probably at least 60 or 70 mph, and had I pushed off as I thought I had plenty of time to turn right, the car would almost certainly have hit me!

  8. Well the road should be used for something after all the cost which was too late for the ferries , maybe upgrade Military road with speed humps and cameras , just an idea.

  9. if its not an adopted road who is enforcing the new no parking for motorhomes. We used to be regular visitors to the road beneath the cliffs fishing with the tides and eating out in town Now we seldom come as we can go to hearn or reculver where they have dedicated spots for motor homes

  10. Isnt a rat run a quick short cut ?

    There is nothing quick about Military road. The shops and all the vehicles parked at the shops make sure of that! Do people know what double yellow line mean ?.

    I have used this road for work and by the harbour you cant drive faster than about 5 mph. Lots of people walking, cars parked everywhere. At the point where its goes to one lane, you cant see if anything is coming because your view is blocked by tents etc set up by the shops/bars plus the parked cars.

    It is naturally a slow area. But agree it would be better if it was car free, not sure were all the cars parked at the shops and on double yellow lines will now park.

  11. A barrier with enforcement is a great idea if it prevents all the through traffic, particularly HGV’s.
    The arches businesses and projects are a real plus for the harbour, bringing people and life to the area. It’s an amazing buzz of drinks, art, workshops and food.
    The town needs a coordinated traffic management plan. The barrier might do some good in reducing traffic but we also need lower speeds or, better still, maybe no vehicles at all inside core periods so deliveries can be made early or late.
    Tunnel closures are planned mostly so why not post all the dates and times to allow people to avoid the route at these times – emergency closures are rare.
    Given the road above military road is far better for traffic why all the fuss?

  12. why not let the traffic use it, with measures in place a variant speed camera at either end, this route brings you out to the unique part of Ramsgate, attracting more tourism and much needed finance to the cafe’s and bars etc… TDC would rather waste money here than invest in the town centre itself shocking really.

    • You’re right, it is a wonderful route into Ramsgate Harbour. Summer car parking which has been obliterated by the Ramsgate Sands development on the East Cliff, should be relocated on the Western Undercliff. Possibly at the Sally Terminal. To be able to park on the seafront and walk on the flat is a bonus to many people and encourages more visitor footfall.

  13. Dumpton , This happens a lot along my road Newington road , cars travel 60 -70 mph a few have been killed on this road over the years, one house had the front of his house demolished by a car. I myself have nearly copped it on the crossing by the shops cars just go to fast. Only a few weeks ago a lad got hit when crossing the road , I see it and his pushbike was in half , he was lucky .
    Having mentioned it over the years to police like a speed camera would help they do nothing but hey one is fitted by the traffic lights at the viduct .

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