Residents turn out for Ramsgate traffic concerns and 20’s Plenty campaign meeting

20's Plenty meeting in Ramsgate

More than 60 residents gathered at a meeting last week to discuss growing concerns about traffic and road safety in Ramsgate.

The public meeting, organised by Ramsgate county councillor Karen Constantine, was told 20 mph areas are beneficial and traffic can damage health and add to pollution.

Cllr Constantine said: “I called the meeting because in all my years of being a councillor, traffic and speed are the top concern residents raise with me. In many ways it’s a really difficult issue to tackle but across the county more councils are recognising the multiple benefits of lower traffic speeds.

“I was extremely pleased, not only that so many people came to the meeting, but at the high quality of contribution and the plans for this group to come together more formally, with an ambition to fight for improvements across Ramsgate. This will benefit all of those that live, work and visit our lovely town.”

The national campaign group ‘20s Plenty,’ is reporting success in supporting hundreds of areas to reduce traffic speeds. It is accepted as normal by local authorities covering 28 million people in the UK, including all of Wales and soon Scotland.

Some of those attending the meeting

The organisation says  reducing traffic speeds to 20 mph helps to create places where human activity including walking, cycling, and social interaction, takes precedence over traffic and that it’s better for the environment. They say 20mph reduces CO2 emissions, it is also enforceable, just like any speed limit, and putting 20 mph in place has little impact on overall journey times. Bus journeys and timetable times are generally unaffected by 20 mph when the lower speed restriction is bought in.

Thanet councillor Rob Yates said: ““Our roads should be safe for our children. Unfortunately, Kent County Council statistics show the opposite. For Thanet’s under 15s, we have the highest number of road traffic serious casualties in Kent. And this is not a one-off, since 2015, we have consistently had one of the highest rates of serious road traffic casualties in Kent amongst our children.

“On top of this, we have sadly witnessed three cyclist deaths on our roads since October last year, and along with Canterbury, we consistently have the highest number of cyclist casualties a year. The need for change isn’t about perception, it’s about fact.”

Town and district councillor Tricia Austin said she will be urging the council to bid for the latest ‘Active Travel’ funding.

Fellow councillor Becky Wing added: ““For those with wheelchairs or pushchairs getting across Ramsgate is difficult. There’s just two crossing points in Ramsgate. Safety is residents’ primary concern.”

Chair of Ramsgate Town Council Cllr Steve Albon outlined the actions the authority is taking, saying: “We have had meetings with KCC highways department and they have explained that the 20 mph scheme proposed by Ramsgate Town Council is a significant undertaking and that it could take 3 to 4 years to implement. It would need to go through consultation with residents. Additionally, KCC or others will need to organise speed checks and consider what solutions and other measures may need to be adopted.”

‘Behind the curve’

Patrick Jarman of ‘Active Travel’ a Ramsgate based company which promotes walking and cycling, told those at the meeting: “We support the roll-out across the county of simple measures to reduce stress, road danger, traffic pollution and noise, to re-invigorate local shopping and town centres, to liberate everybody including children and the elderly, to make life healthier and happier for everyone.

“Kent is way behind the curve with comparable parts of Europe. The question isn’t can we afford it – it’s can we afford not to do it. It’s really vital to get people active, as well as to decarbonise the environment. With calmer streets and roads we create a nicer environment and a more connected community.”

A further meeting will be organised in the early new year. Cllr Constantine said she would again invite the South Thanet MP, KCC Highways and police despite them declining to attend the first meeting.

She added: “I believe we can ‘win hearts and minds’ on this topic – it won’t be easy but with so many determined residents it’s only a matter of time. We can reduce the number of casualties and fatalities and create a better, cleaner, and safer environment.”

Following public consultation earlier this year Kent County Council has plans to change 10 Ramsgate roads to 20mph zones:


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.

MADERIA 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.

KCC says the aim is to “avoid the danger to persons or other traffic using the road or any other road or for preventing the likelihood of any such danger arising

“ (and) for preserving or improving the amenities of the area through which the road runs.”


  1. 20 mph “zones” work better than 20 mph speed limits.
    In addition to speed limits, additional street furniture such as planters, benches, and changes to the paving, give a feel that motorists are not actually driving on a road, so tend to drive slower.

    • Absolutely bang on Andrew, also our rural roads need something like the French do, they have traffic lights that react to speed, if you’re driving too fast they’ll go red before you get there just to keep you waiting.
      Penalties need to be tougher as well, bigger fines, second offence crush their car, give them something to think about!
      I honestly believe this has come about because people are more sick to the back teeth of these boy racers screaming around our streets than the odd person that goes 5mph over the speed limit.

  2. interestingly about the police etc not turning up , what as a percentage is 60 people of the amount of people in ramsgate ????

  3. There’s been severe speeding on my street despite it being one way, narrow and having parked cars down both sides at all times. They come off Boundary road speeding and don’t slow down. There was an accident recently that wrote off two of my neighbour’s cars (plus the driver’s car) and it was down entirely to reckless driving. The police arrived about four hours later, and though the driver was still there, they said there was nothing they could do. He wasn’t charged or even given a caution. I’m not convinced that setting up these zones is going to help. Can anybody explain why excessive speeding has become so prevalent in the last 2-3 years?

    • Seems to me to be linked to post-lockdowns! Maybe some drivers loved the quieter roads so much during lockdown and so sped, and have never gone back? Are some lost the plot during lockdown?! Who knows? But driving on the whole does seem to have deteriorated since 2020 IMO.

    • I think there are a number of reasons Carly. Alot of people had nothing going on, so brought their dream car during the pandemic. Also its very easy to get a high standard car now on finance. Even if your wages aren’t high. The music being listened to in cars is often quite high tempo and aggressive, which of course effects peoples mood to make them drive more aggressively and also culture. We have a number of films that Promotes this fast driving lifestyle. Couple that with the fact that the area has alot of people with serious lack of respect you have this situation.

      It’s not just coming at a human cost, but also its leaving older and more vulnerable drivers intimidated because of continued tailgating (especially at night) and a cost to people’s animals. Alot of people are scared to even let their cat out now, because so many are being run over.

      I think alot of these drivers need someone they are trying to hully to get out and give them a smack round the mouth, but I guess 20 mph might help too

    • Carly, Thanet police always look for the best way to do nothing! I would have thought they could have arrested the driver for causing Criminal Damage at least. You could take legal advice.

  4. Certain roads do need to have a 20 mph speed restriction.but also,for the wheelchair and mobility scooter users there needs to be many more dropped curbs.on these I would suggest a double yellow lines to extend a foot either side of the drop curb.and double chevrons a foot either side again on the dropped curb.hopefully this might allow drivers to recognise a drop curb and if parking on some do,they would be in for a fine.

  5. Standard of driving generally is appalling! If people tailgate you for driving at 30mph in built up areas, there’s no way they’re going to drive at 20mph, and what happened to giving way to on coming traffic? It’s just a race to see who can get to the gap first!

  6. I finally gave up cycling just before my 80th birthday, largely because cars have got fatter like their drivers, and come dangerously close when overtaking, especially where there is a traffic island! Twenty’s plenty should be throughout Thanet!

  7. Am I right in understanding that the 20mph restrictions won’t effect where that horrendous accident happened on Leopold Street?

  8. What is the point of doing this? The more you slow down cars in busy areas the more air pollution is going to be made and the more traffic will build up and the more road rage will happen how do none of you lot see this, also why is it always people from late 40s onwards who complain about speed when either they don’t drive anymore or do very little driving in most cases of these things, want to know why people get hit by cars… It is because people like this lot make them think oh if I just walk out into the road not looking or face in a phone then it’s the drivers fault if they hit the person not the persons even though they were the idiot to just walk out into the road without looking then all you bored moany sods start crying how everyone needs to slow down. How about idiots take the fall for their own mistakes when playing with traffic and the self richious lot who are making driving harder and harder how about you put your efforts elsewhere vehicle owners have enough trouble as it is without more and more people trying to clamp them down leave the drivers alone for a lot of this stuff and try re-educating the public that cars can kill you if you are being an idiot around them when they are moving. 20 mph speed limit around schools not and issue if anything make sure that one is enforced but, changing high streets, semi busy to busy roads to 20mph will just make drivers use a different route then again have moany sods complain about cars speeding down their roads maybe only about 20-30 mph but still speeding because THEY don’t want all this traffic down their road.
    So when dose this craziness end huh.

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