Public meeting to be held and calls for 20mph zone in Ramsgate town following fatal Leopold Street collision

20mph proposal

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.


  1. Sorry but if you had 10 mph speed limits, it would not stop the idiot who caused the needless deaths ,from speeding

    • Agreed. Standard virtue signaling. Hijacking a tragedy to get their name in the paper when they know full well it won’t make a blind bit of difference.

    • 20mph zones in London work, but only because they have alot of cameras. If you try and do 20mph along margate seafront you will soon have someone tailgating you and waving their arms because nobody cares for it and it’s not enforced

      • Ten11,
        That happened to my son a few weeks ago, riding a motorcycle at the reduced limit along Marine Drive. He was tailgated, dangerously, by a Post Office van who even tried to overtake him at one point, He was reported back at the sorting office but I doubt if anything was even said, let alone done. Cameras are the answer if these limits are to be considered seriously.

  2. I spend half my time in Cambridge where we have lots of 20 mph limits. Loads of moans and ‘who will enforce’ at the beginning but speeds have definitely dropped and it’s much safer for walking, cycling and driving too! Of course it won’t stop the occasional idiot but it slows down most idiots!

  3. “Twenty’s plenty” works – read about the Home Zones in the Netherlands, the A1 Holloway Road in London and many towns here. Being hit by a car doing 15 mph is not nice but rarely fatal. Being hit by a motor doing 50 mph is usually curtains!

  4. It won’t make any difference, if you’re driving with drugs or alcohol in your system, you won’t take a blind bit of notice of a 20mph limit. We have a 20mph
    Zone in middle of Broadstairs, it’s blatantly ignored constantly.

  5. I agree Ray, mind you I think the best way to reduce the idiot level in Thanet is to increase the police levels on the streets I know the police can’t be everywhere but it’s a job to see them anywhere unless they are dashing to the next job. Even idiots slow down when there police about.

  6. Lowering the speed limit won’t make any difference, it’s not so much the speed that kills, it’s drivers being careful when driving, a driver should drive according to the road conditions and the the fact of being careful when driving past vehicles.

  7. I think this country is going to the dogs.

    Government has just brought in new laws where the pedestrian has right of way over a car. So pedestrian can just walk across the junction and you have to stop.
    Was this brought in because so many pedestrians are just walking with there head in their phones ?

    I dont understand who a 20mph works for a pissed up or drugged up driver.

    • Pedestrians cannot “just walk across the junction and you have to stop”. If a vehicle is turning into or out of a side road into or from a main road, then the driver must give way to a pedestrian (or cyclist or horse and rider) going along parallel to the main road. If a pedestrian wants to cross the main road, then they have to wait for a suitable gap in the traffic.
      And, if you are a car turning in or out, you don’t have to stop, just slow up a bit and give the pedestrian a chance.
      I’m pleased to say that many drivers seem to be aware of the new rule, and I’m happy to wave a cheery “thankyou” to the courteous and considerate driver.

      If drivers can’t stick to a speed limit, then extend the pedestrian zone.

  8. Good grief!
    I cannot believe this knee jerk reaction to one very serious accident,
    Do you think for one minute this apparently drugged driver would have taken any notice of a 20mph limit? Looking at the damage it is obvious he totally ignored the present 30 limit so why would he have taken notice of a lower limit?
    The reactionists proposing this farce could well be better served by addressing the real cause of this accident and also the cause of so much other crime and bad behaviour in Thanet – DRUGS, their supply and use.

    • There have been calls for the 20mph limit long before!

      Also this is a public consultation so I presume all the people with negative comments will be at the meeting to learn something!

      • Samantha
        “Negative comments”? Don’t you mean ‘other points of view’? , it is after all supposed to be a (public) consultation.
        You sound as if it is a ‘them and us’ contest, Not everybody will agree to a 20mph seed limit and this proposal does not mean it is the right one, perhaps others will come up with an alternative for discussion.
        As for “learn something”, how patronising is that?
        I hope the best decision is made.

  9. The point, as I see it, is to hold the public meeting where the public can tell those in power what they want. 20mph is a start, enforcement is necessary but once the limit is in we can put pressure on the police for enforcement action.
    The 20mph limit is part of accident prevention rather than action once the action has occurred. For me anyone who drives or rides outside the rules is weaponising their vehicle, this is how we need to see it – not dangerous driving.

  10. 20mph speed limits will not be routinely or even policed by the police,its a well known fact.The police have quoted it many times.
    The local council and or highways (the road owners) would need to enforce anything less than 30mph on their roads. They can employ the police or a private company.
    They favour other initiatives to reduce vehicle speed but those initiatives would have not helped in the leoplod street tragedy.

    Rip and condolences to all involved.

  11. 20 mph down side roads where people live, park their cars, children run about makes good sense but not on main roads eg bus routes where people travel from A to B. Just adds to already long (ever longer) journey times and of course driving in 3rd gear at high engine revs creates more pollution than 4th gear at low revs.

    I still can’t understand how anyone achieved 30mph on the road where the accident took place, (let alone exceeded it) it’s a short section of road with steep bends at both ends, clearly a signpost displaying a number is not going to have made any difference to this driver.

  12. KCC have a consultation out at the moment for a 20mph zone around the High Street up to not including leopold street but includes part of the h#rbour area from bottom of leopold Street along to harbour road,medira walk, and harbour parade, I have filled the form in and asked for this to be extended up to queen’s House, but also said this will never stop the idiots who do not care about speed restrictions or about the laws of the road the only way to slow down those idiots is having chicanes but of course these will cost more but do work In the District of Thanet
    (AMENDMENT No.2) ORDER 2022

    Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
    NOTICE is hereby given that the Kent County Council proposes to make the abovenamed Order under Sections 81, 82, 83 and 84 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984,
    the effect of which would be to: –
    The effect of the order would be to reduce the current speed limit from 30MPH to
    20MPH on the following lengths of roads in Ramsgate, Thanet:-
    For their entire length. HARBOUR PARADE – From its junction with Military Road to its
    junction with Marine Esplanade. HIGH STREET – From its junction with Harbour Street
    to its junction with Hardres Street. KING STREET – From its junction with High Street to
    its junction with Broad Street. MADRIA WALK – From its junction with Harbour Parade
    to its junction with Albion Place. QUEEN STREET – From its junction with High Street to
    its junction with Leopold Street. ROYAL PARADE – From its junction with Harbour
    Parade for a distance of 33 metres in a westerly direction.
    A full statement of the Council’s reasons for making the proposed Order, a plan
    indicating the location and the effect and a copy of any other Orders which will be
    amended by the proposed Order may be examined at Kent Highways,
    Transportation & Waste, Ashford Highway Depot, Henwood Industrial Estate, Unit 4
    Javelin Way, Ashford, Kent TN24 8AD by appointment booked through
    [email protected] or viewed online from 12 August 2022 at
    Representations supporting or objecting to the proposed Order can be made via our
    website using the above link or alternatively you can write to The Senior Parking &
    Traffic Regulation Officer, Traffic Management Team, Highways, Transportation &
    Waste, Kent County Council, Ashford Highway Depot, Henwood Industrial Estate,
    Javelin Way, Ashford, TN24 8AD by 12 noon Monday 5 Septe

    • I assume the councillors had not read the order before it was released it would have saved them the time and effort as it was already in place with the consultation period soon to finish. Thanks for copying this order.

  13. One hour before these people were murdered (drug driving (if so) is like driving a tank in a supermarket, so I repeat “murdered”) I was standing at the harbour bus stop with my children and grandchildren waiting for the 20.19 Loop bus to take us back to Broadstairs. “A” bus then showed up around 20.35hrs.To keep the grandchildren quiet we played a game “spot a green car”. So our attention was on the traffic. One moment a black Alfa pulled my attention as it was revving at the pedestrian crossing, pulled up like mad, just to slam the brakes at the roundabout and stopping for a car manoeuvring on Military Road. (There was a sky blue Twingo parked there and a pickup truck with high vis stripes behind it. I think it was the car behind it that started to move). The Alfa had round taillights. When I read the news the morning after I was devastated. Could it be the same idiot? Imagine how family, friends and colleagues will be affected! A 20MPH limit will not help. A harsh and well advertised sentence will have a much larger deterrent effect.
    Let the surviving relatives decide on his fate.

  14. Everyone kicks off about the speed limits everytime there’s an incident, whist in some cases it is undoubtedly a factor ( in the leopold incident would the driver have acted the way they did if not under the influence of drugs (assuming the charge is proven))
    Last year we had the cyclist killed on Dumpton Park Ave / Muir Road, the young lad hit by a car up by the viaduct.
    At the time there were the usual accusations about drivers, but has anyone seen if any charges were made against the drivers involved ? Or was it in attention by those hit? Taking decisions on the basis of distorted data is plain daft and unlikely to solve issues.

    • I agree as for him to have mounted the pavement where he did the 20mph restriction would not of made a bit of difference. It is still worth having though

  15. Heard the news of the deaths while in Jaywick (yes) locals there were disgusted it was allowed to happen.

    first impression the tragic accident was terror related, hopefully not.

    20mph zones are possible but its down to the road owners to police them, its been done already in other areas.

    Police dont own our roads, santos the sprinter.

    Maybe the labour councillor will get funding for 20mph schemes, its so costly but if it saves lives. Then i will back their idea.
    Labour party should be so ahead with the current tory difficulty’s.
    The idea of substance,drink,drug misuse needs to be sorted, why are some parts of our lovely isle considered a free narco state.
    Ramsgate has secured funds for high st improvements, kind of think they (happy to be told an alternative) that cash is already used for improvements local to that tragic incident.

    Stopping drivers who dont have proper control of their vehicles is possible but it needs to be 24/7 365 days a year. ok over to the labour councillor to sort out.

    Gordon brown would sort it

  16. Changing the speed limit won’t make a lot of difference you have to educate the driver of the vehicle.
    A sensible driver adjusts their speed according to the surrounding area.
    1 of the big issues is that a lot of drivers are SELFISH and drive how they want to drive, basically it’s very bad driving, and i see it all the time as i drive around.

  17. Can you tell me how you educate a drunk ,drugged idiot ,that it’s wrong to speed ,his brain would not register the fact he was speeding in both sense of the word , the only way to stop this irresponsible behaviour is slap an extremely heavy sentence on him to be served in full with no remission,this will not placate the loss this family has suffered but death by driving whether drunk or sober is murder which ever way you look at it , forget mitigation ,this is just cold blooded murder and the only way to eradicate is for judges to give the maximum , and as for lawyers ,can they honestly stand up in court defending this type of behaviour , utter hypocrisy comes to mind as after being in court defending the perpetrator, they will probably say quite openly that it’s inexcusable , so hypocrits .

    • Areasonable man, you are spot on, and those who try and provide cover and an alibi for such people are as guilty as they are condoning the actions of the driver instead of informing the police which any decent person would do.

  18. I completely agree with the need for greater measures and a meeting to address the issues, but on the same day as the horrible murder of the visitors to our area, KCC posted an engagement & consultation on parts ramsgate which I have posted in a n earlier reply on here but our kcc councilor did not mention it?,, the closing date for people who support or oppose this is the 5/9/2022 that is 4 days before the meeting, if you want to have your say you need to go on line and sign in or register, the area covered is on my earlier reply and there is a section for you to give reasons for or against. Have found the website it’s,

  19. A great idea the idiots that speed down past Wellington Crescent we have had parked cars run into walls knocked down . I also think speed bumps would be a great advantage.
    John Kent

  20. Ramsgate is a destination not a thoroughfare.

    So why would ANYBODY want to oppose a 20mph speed restriction across the town centre and the seafront?

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