Margate 20mph zones and Northdown Road safety measures consultation recommended for approval

20mph Speed Limit Credit: istock/lenscap67

Discussions over implementing 20mph zones on multiple roads in the Salmestone and Dane Valley areas of Margate and approving consultation over safety measures in Northdown Road are due to take place next week.

Members on the Joint Transportation  Board have been advised to approve a traffic regulation order for the 20mph areas, although documents say money for the installation must be found first.

The scheme would encompass residential roads including those  outside Salmestone, Drapers Mills and St Gregory’s schools and roads off from Victoria traffic lights – not inclusive of Star Lane and College Road between Ramsgate Road and St Peters Road. Part of the zone covers the Hornby model factory and museum area.

Salmestone Residents’ Association carried out an informal consultation in 2019 which showed 94% of respondents in favour of the 20mph speed limit.

County Councillor Barry Lewis requested the scheme and gained an ‘in principle’ agreement last year.

Surveys were undertaken in a sample of roads in September 2021 and these showed the average speed of drivers was around 24mph.

Casualty analysis for the affected roads shows that in the three years up to 30/06/22, there has been one personal injury crash where excessive speed is shown to have been a contributory factor in Tivoli Road at Alexandra Road.

There were also four personal injury crashes involving pedestrians, described as three slight and one serious incident. One of the slight injury crashes involved a four-year-old outside a school. There was one crash involving a motorcycle which resulted in serious injury.

The 20mph proposal was advertised during July and August this year with consultation resulting in 66 responses: 35 in support and 31 against.

Some of those against the idea said it would cause congestion, wasn’t needed and would be wasting money. There were also concerns that the speed limit would be ignored and not enforced.

The scheme will cost some £50,000 to implement.

A report to councillors says: “It is recommended that the TRO for the speed limit be made as advertised, pending confirmed identification of funding for the signs and road markings within the statutory 24 month period.”

Cllr Lewis said: “Hopefully members of the Joint Transportation Board will agree to discuss and pass it to the next stage.”

Northdown Road pedestrian safety measures

The board is also asked to approve a public consultation over measures to be taken in Northdown Road which include parking bay changes, enlarged footpath with a new pedestrian crossing and other alterations to improve pedestrian safety.

During the past ten years, up until March 2021, there were 49 collisions in the area reported to the police where a pedestrian was injured. The KCC proposal is to make improvements aimed to reduce risks caused by the road and path layout.

  • 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. T
  • 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.
  • In Northdown Road dropped kerbs will be replaced with raised bus stop kerbs and the existing pedestrian crossing point removed.
  • 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.
  • 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 scheme will be paid for 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.

Possible boycott

However, it is possible that members of the Joint Transportation Board will boycott any discussion of the two items if a Kent County Council officer does not attend the meeting.

At the last meeting in October angry councillors said they were refusing to approve any more Kent County Council road schemes until an officer turns up at meetings.

The board is a forum for county and district councillors to discuss highway issues. But since the covid pandemic there has been no attendance from county council officers.

The board at that meeting had been due to discuss the Northdown Road consultation but members  said it was impossible to move forward with no officer present to answer questions about the scheme.

Cllr Linda Wright, who is a member for KCC, suggested an upgrade to Thanet council’s system to allow officers to attend remotely.

Members were told Thanet could not live stream for the public and host a stream for remote attendance at the same time and any upgrade would come at “substantial” cost.

Cllr Phil Fellows moved a decision for the committee to agree “not to progress any KCC items on the agenda if no-one wants to come and talk about it.”

The meeting is due to take place on November 13.

Angry councillors delay transport decisions due to continued county council representation no-show


  1. Note re Northdown Rd …
    Been nearly flattened many times on zebra. European drivers, even if they are not intoxicated, don’t respect it. Safer to cross away from zebra then you don’t expect anyone to stop

  2. Amy chance of doing something about those stopping on the corner of Northdown Road and Wilderness Hill when using the pharmacy, that corner becomes much obstructed far too often. Whilst a bit further away also reduce the parking bays at the exit of Dalby Square onto Ethelbert Crescent on the bowling alley side, parked vehicles ( legally in the bay) often totally obstruct the view of the road from the direction of the pedestrian crossing, plus the sharp radius of the kerb turning left means vehicles either have to venture across the oncoming lane or exit from the centre of the Dalby Square road .

  3. Nothing can be done about the farce of chargeable parking on the main thoroughfare (Northdown Road) yet all side roads are free.

    I’ve been petitioning for permit parking for one road I live on just off NR but there seems to be no appetite to move forward – even by residents. Result: my driveway frequently blocked by imbeciles!

    • Why would anybody want the headache of permit parking on their street?? Plus it will drive business away from northdown road

    • That council borough already has a 20mph speed limit, maybe it is not working in some roads

      but they are doing something about it.

      Forget police help

  4. Much of the above could be dealt with through enforcement of existing regulations but TDC has too few enforcement officers and the police are not interested in speeding motorists unless they (the police) can sit comfortably in the back of a van with a camera.
    A 20 mph will make no difference unless other things change too.

  5. Average speed is 24mph so someone wants to spend tens of thousands of pounds to reduce the limit from 30mph to 20mph .. great news, meanwhile, TDC & KCC will be facing further budget restrictions as the Government tightens spending. All while parking in the area has become a battle / lottery as to finding somewhere for residents and shoppers.

    Easy short term parking is essential for shops to remain in business, otherwise customers will go elsewhere to the detriment of local shops and a potential loss for locals who do walk to use them.

    • The article is easy to misinterpret, from my reading the 20mph applies to Salmestone area, where just 1out of 4 reported injuries resulted from excess speed being a factor, if it was known what the factors were innthe other instances perhaps it would be possible to suggest alternative more effective measures.
      The scheme in northdown road isn’t so much about speed as general pedestrian safety, again there is little detail on the causes and contributory factors for the 49 reported injuries. It seems almost as though the changes are to try and resolve the additional risks and behavioural changes that resulted from previous changes to the way the roads/ pedestrians are managed in the area. Namely the removal several years back of the “bus layby stops” that meant buses now stop in the traffic flow, blocking visibility for pedestrians and drivers , as well as encouraging motorists to attempt sometimes ill judged overtaking. Then there are the obstructions at junctions to visibility splays by street furniture , bins etc.
      As the gas works last year showed , reducing the ability for car owners to park will have a great detrimental effect on the businesses.

      • Removing the bus stop bays means that buses don’t have to wait, often for minutes, for a break in the traffic in order to rejoin the lane.
        Traffic congestion is not caused by buses; it’s caused by cars.

    • We’ve become obsessed with motor cars, and the needs and “rights” of motorists.
      Anyone with half a brain can see that the situation is untenable. We live in small, crowded, compact towns. There simply isn’t the space to accommodate more and more cars, short of knocking down whole communities and rebuilding from a car-centric point of view.
      For example, in the Edwardian street where I live, most houses have two, and sometimes three cars. There’s enough space outside each house for one car. So where do the rest go?
      Get rid of your car and use public transport. Be part of the solution,,not the problem.

  6. You drop the speed limit to 10mph ,it will not stop idiots from speeding,they just don’t care, all this is just a waste of money from a broke council,who really only care about arty projects and how good they look by doing it ,

  7. Can’t even Police the dozens parked across corners and double yellows throughout the area, the drunk and many, many drug drivers, Iv seen ONE parking warden in the past 10 months, so let them put their signage, very few will pay any attention to them and no one will police them anyway.

  8. They could just educate people on how to cross the road properly like they used to when I was a boy (70’s-80’s).

  9. I read a report the other day that said 20mph zones do not stop the problems with stupid drivers. Nor stupid pedestrians. It made no difference to accident figures. Report was either the Independent or guardian. It was a national report. I do 20mph along the sea front at Margate and always have an idiot trying to get past. Impatience and powerful cars and daft drives are a major problem.

    • 20 mph “zones” are not the same as 20 mph “limits”.
      In the former, there are additional features, such as planters, seating areas, changes to the road surface (a bit like the lower end of Ramsgate High St) and so on.
      The latter is a sign on a pole.

  10. I’m in complete favour of this. Too many people have been killed or seriously injured on thanet roads in past few years. I’m not orrignally from thanet and I see thugs driving mad in cars daily. Most of london is 20mh in residential areas and it works. Thanet especially margate is like a thugs race track. All roads should be 20mh except A roads

  11. Don’t worry about the speed at coffin corner sort the traffic lights.There are 4 roads but only 3 light changes.Also no crossing for school,care home or cemetery.The last excuse it would be dangerous to put a crossing on brow of hill.There again Nash road is 6ft 6 mirror to mirror access only but used by all vehicles never been enforced.

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