A public meeting will be held and calls are being made for a 20mph zone in Ramsgate town.
The calls come following the tragic deaths of Yoram Hirshfeld, 78, and his daughter Noga Sella, 40, and the serious injury of Noga’s young daughter after being hit by a motorist in Leopold Street last week.
The meeting, which has been arranged by County Councillor Karen Constantine, will take place at Ramsgate’s Comfort Inn on September 9 from 7pm to 8.45pm.
Cllr Constantine has contacted Cabinet members at the county council, MP Craig Mackinlay and Kent Police.
She said: “I have invited Craig Mackinlay MP to attend and have asked for his support to ensure Ramsgate Town is made a 20mph zone with adequate police enforcement. I’ll also invite representatives from KCC and the police.
“The meeting will be positive and cross party. We must work together to improve road safety.
“Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those involved (in the collision). I’d also like to formally record my thanks to our police and rescue services who were, as always, brilliant.
‘The need for 20mph zones’
“I have long been concerned about traffic issues in and around Thanet, and with particular regard to my division of Ramsgate.
“Only a few days ago I was crossing St Augustine’s Road near to my home, there is no crossing nearby, a car raced by. I have no idea of its speed except it was extremely fast and dangerous. This isn’t an isolated incident. Residents report this type of incident regularly.
“We also have a public meeting next week in relation to another nasty collision on Dumpton Gap road. In fact I asked both KCC and KMFRA service to attend a meeting previously – but my request was declined, which surprised me.
“I have raised repeatedly the issue of the need of 20mph zones and the real need for more zebra type pedestrian crossings. I’m repeatedly told these initiatives aren’t possible, can’t be financed as they don’t meet the threshold of need, which is based on actual fatalities.
“I fear that Ramsgate is being left behind in road safety, that locals are not having their concerns adequately considered. It seems impossible to organise 20mph zones and additional crossings. This should be addressed.”
‘Speed limit and pedestrian crossings’
Ramsgate’s three councillors for Ramsgate’s Central Harbour ward, Cllrs Raushan Ara, Becky Wing and Tricia Austin, are also calling for 20mph measures to be implemented.
In a statement they said: “We are shocked by this tragic accident. Our hearts go out to those involved and their loved ones, and we send our sincerest condolences for their loss. We are appalled that a family paying a visit to our lovely town should have been devastated in this way.
“We all want to feel safe on the streets of Ramsgate – but this dreadful incident shows us that we are not. We have been pushing for some years now for a more pedestrian-friendly environment in the town – a 20mph speed limit, pedestrian crossings on Leopold Street and Royal Parade, better signage and fewer ‘rat runs’ where speeding cars can cut through residential areas.
“We are angry that huge cuts in Government funding to Local Authorities have left Kent County Council obliged to decide between prioritising funding road safety and social care. We are committing ourselves to redoubling our efforts to improve road safety in Ramsgate, in the hope that no other family will have to suffer as the Sella family has.”
Dumpton Park Drive road safety meeting
A public meeting takes place tomorrow (August 15th), between 6pm-7pm at the Racing Greyhound pub in Hereson Road to discuss road safety measures for Dumpton Park Drive.
Councillor Pat Makinson has organised the meeting/surgery and all are invited.
Man charged and remanded
Nitesh Bissendary, 30, of Highlands Glade, Manston, was arrested shortly after the Leopold Street collision and has been charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He has also been charged with failing to stop at the scene of a road traffic collision, drug driving and failing to provide a sample for analysis.
He appeared at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on August 13 and was remanded to appear at Canterbury Crown Court on August 22.