Works planned to improve driver and pedestrian safety in Northdown Road

Northdown Road

Changes will be made at eight locations along Northdown Road in Cliftonville to improve road safety, particularly for pedestrians.

During the past ten years, up until March 2021, there were 49 collisions reported to the police where a pedestrian was injured.

In 2017 a petition was launched asking Kent County Council to install a zebra crossing on the road.

Resident Terry McElligott was appealing for the authority to create the crossing  between the Athelstan and Dalby Road junctions following a series of accidents.

A report to the Joint Transportation Board – made up of Kent, Thanet and town/parish councillors- says some improvements have already been made but the number of collisions is still high.

A recent study of the road and previous crashes along it identified the following issues:

  • The footpath on the southern side of the road is in shade for much of the day,making any pedestrians waiting to cross less visible to drivers.
  • The road is straight, which may encourage drivers to travel at a higher speed.
  • Some pedestrian crossing points are in front of bus stops, so drivers passing a bus at the stop may not see a pedestrian stepping out until they are out in the road.
  • There are many pedestrian crossing points (informal dropped kerbs and zebra crossings), often very close together.
  • Two of the zebra crossings incorporate centre islands, and some crashes seemed to have occurred when a pedestrian has crossed to the centre island, and then been struck on the second part of the crossing. There may be uncertainty between pedestrians and drivers whether to treat such crossings as one or two separate movements.

Changes will be made on Clifton Road and St Paul’s Road with a reduction of ‘at any time’ waiting restrictions – double yellow lines. At Arthur Road the existing parking bays will be cut in size and moved near to the junction with the footway widened to allow buses to pull up close to and parallel to the kerb. This will also allow pedestrians crossing outside of the church to see vehicles approaching from their right.

On Wilderness Hill the existing parking bay will be extended and the ‘give way’ line moved forward to give better visibility for drivers turning out of the junction.

Also by Wilderness Hill the existing bay will be extended and a new footway build-out will be created on the southern side along with dropped kerbs for pedestrian crossing points on both sides. The kerbs at the bus stop will also be raised.

By Edgar Road the footway will be enlarged in front of St Paul’s Church and a pedestrian crossing point created set back into the side road. The existing splitter island will be removed and narrowed at its junction with Northdown Road. The footway will be widened on both sides of the zebra crossing. The existing centre islands will be removed from the zebra crossing as well as the existing parking bays on the  north side to allow the full eight zig-zag marks for the zebra crossing to be placed.

In Northdown Road dropped kerbs will be replaced with raised bus stop kerbs and the existing pedestrian crossing point removed. The build-out on north side would be removed with full height kerbs reinstated and a smaller island installed with a ‘keep right’ bollard.

By Sweyn Road it is proposed to extend the wider part of the footway southwards to discourage drivers from stopping and blocking visibility for pedestrians.

By Godwin Road the dropped kerbs would be replaced with raised bus stop kerbs and the footway build-out would be reduced.

Again in Northdown Road a build-out footway would be removed, and parking bays joined with dropped kerbs being replaced by raised bus stop kerbs.

By Prices Avenue and Harold Road the existing pedestrian guard railing would be extended by two 2 metre lengths.

By Lyndhurst Avenue and Warwick Road the existing centre islands would be removed from the zebra crossing. The southern side footway would be further widened.

A report to the Joint Transportation Board, which will meet on Thursday (June 9) says the measure will improve road safety for drivers and pedestrians as well as creating better facilities for bus users and increasing parking spaces.

The scheme is being funded by KCC’s Crash Remedial Measures fund. During the works, alternative routes would be provided for pedestrians with barriers and ramps for those with visual and mobility impairments

A public consultation is currently being put together and residents and businesses will receive letters, public notices will be placed on site and posts will be put on internet and social media platforms. The results of the consultation will be used to help finalise the scheme design.


  1. Good old northdown road more cash spent there,sod the other roads in thanet that is a danger to pedestrians ,to meany to list ,start by stopping vehicles parking on footpaths, yellow lines, grass veges ,cycle lanes ,double parking ,than pedestrians wouldn’t have to go in the road to get round the parked vehicles

    • That might take a lot more work than putting in a crossing with careless drivers and of course the police. have. way too much to do to concern themselves with parking issues so you need a couple of local wardens educating the transgressors who can offer advice or. £25 on the spot fines or Towaways which normally get peoples attention

      • Maybe the best way to resolve the Northdown rd problem would be to pedestrianise some of it
        with restrictions on delivery trucks for certain times of the day

        • The recent gas main works that shut northdown resulted in a huge drop in trade for the shops there, pedestrianisation would probably finish most of them , plus it would only push the traffic onto other roads making them more congested.
          Comical about the problems of pedestrians not being able to see past buses, the bus stops were moved from laybys into the road about 10 years ago in what was described as a traffic calming measure , when all it created was drivers taking risks getting past.
          When they alter the Northdown Road , Edgar road junction, perhaps they can do something about the visibility splays ruined by the cctv pole .
          Go to crashmap and look at where most of the accidents occur.

  2. Hey Kathy, how come 30mins after a story is on Kent online it pops up on here. Genuine question.

  3. They ought to be doing something about the speeding traffic I BEACON ROAD BROADSTAIRS especially the idiots on motorbikes.

  4. Some drivers around here don’t realise that they have to stop if a pedestrian wants to use the zebra crossing.

      • The new Highway Code regulations have been very badly disseminated. I reckon that few drivers are aware of them. Quite a lot are unaware of the old HC, either.

  5. Time to introduce driving tests every so many years.

    Sick of having to put up with vehicles mounting the pavements whilst I’m walking towards them.

    It’s like double yellows dont matter if only two or no wheels are on the pavement!.

    Maybe employ traffic wardens and get out of the towns and start around the Southwood Road area of Ramsgate first!

  6. This is welcome but remember it is compensating for idiot drivers. Also something needs to be done about the other idiots who cycle as fast as they can on the path. They are not children & i have witnessed the collisions between them & people & dogs on leads.

    • Not to mention idiots on e-scooters which are illegal unless on private land. Having been both a pedestrian and a driver along Northdown road, I have had idiot pedestrians, too busy on their mobiles, just walk out into the road without looking. I’m pretty sure some of the collisions were at the fault of the pedestrian.

  7. Several big Council wheelie bins are continuously stored against the safety railings at the top of Sweyn Road making turning out to the right into Northdown Road a game of chance. It is impossible to see what is coming towards you. KCC should ask TDC remove them on safety grounds.

    There are often vans dangerously parked fully on, and obstructing the pavement by the Zebra Crossing next to the Bright Start kiddies Nursery for hours at a time.

    There is a car often parked fully on the extended pavement next to the Zebra Crossing opposite the Athelstan Road junction.

    Where is TDC parking enforcement? Why has bad and illegal, inconsiderate parking been allowed to get worse here? KCC are trying to alleviate some of those situations but TDC should be enforcing them. More failures !

    I would like to see the plans for these new changes to the road layouts there. Hopefully Kathy will revisit this when plans are readily available.

    • TDC parking enforcement staff are instructed to only ticket vehicles where there is a high probability of the fine being collected and not to ticket vehicles where there’s a chance of confrontation. (A lot of this comes from the FOI request that showed the number of outstanding tickets issued to vehicles with foreign plates was considerable and give an excuse for not enforcing parking restrictions in the Dreamland carpark or others when travellers arrived). As a result they don’t bother doing much enforcement in cliftonville. The illusion of an efficient service being more important than actually doing the job properly.
      DVLA are the most effective agency in cliftonville with their fairly regular visits and removal of untaxed vehicles.

  8. I am a mobility Scooter user and I try my utmost to be considerate to all pedestrians as the pavements were initially designed for walkers not racing Grannie/Grandad-mobiles, (it is not easy, but I try). I rely upon the dropped kerbs to be able to TRY and cross the roads safely and the Zebra Crossings are the only place I will cross over the Northdown Road and The Eastern Esplanade (although have had a couple of near misses due to speeding cars not stopping while I am already on the crossing). One accident between pedestrian and vehicle is one too many. But I please ask other mobility users to NOT speed along the pavement – pavements are supposed to be safe to travel along.

  9. A safe crossing on St Mildred’s road Westgate would be welcomed before someone gets injured.

  10. Sounds rather painful all the changes.
    No cars
    Just a bus road.. No
    Buggies are dangerous on pavements let alone roads.. Seriously toads are for vehicles
    Double yellow lines
    No waiting even if disabled…

    KCC are you serious

  11. I’m in sympathy with this; many years back I was a driver involved in exactly this sort of accident, when I collided with an elderly couple crossing by the Astoria. Car in front had stopped in road centre (I thought he was turning right into Lwr Northdown Ave) but he was letting a couple cross from Astoria bus stop. I passed him on nearside but hit the couple. No serious injuries, but the case went to court where I was acquitted of driving without care and attention. My speed had been low, made reasonable assumption given his position in road. Had there been pedestrian crossing, this would not have happened. (My case was helped by one of the magistrates being Colin Cuthbert, whose shop was just along the road and knew the road layout…)

  12. As a bussiness in Northdown rd we suffered for 3 months with road closure and changes to bus routes. This really hit us hard and sale dropped drastically. Then we had the filming road closures which also effected trade and now they want all this done. Feels like they just want all the bussinesss to close!
    Perhaps educating local motorists that done have uk licences and there countries don’t have the same rules for zebra crossing would help alot more. Most accidents have been caused by cars driving onto Northdown rd and hitting the cars driving along it. So it’s not all northdown rd.

  13. How many residents of Cliftonville have passed a British driving test and how many pedestrians know the rules of the road I.e. using a crossing. As for cyclists when they are passed safely by a car which has to stop further on should they then become the ones to maintain a safe distance. I.e. traffic lights are they required to pull up behind the vehicle in front.

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