Fresh calls for 20mph zones and more pedestrian crossings in Ramsgate town area

Cllrs Austin, Ara and Wing want more road safety measures in their ward

Fresh calls are being made for pedestrian crossings, 20mph zones and other road safety measures following another collision in Ramsgate’s Leopold Street.

Emergency services were called to the road after an older couple were hit by a vehicle yesterday (December 15). The pair were treated at the scene and then taken to a local hospital.

The collision took place near the site where a pregnant mum and her dad lost their lives when a drug-driver mounted the kerb and hit a family of five in August.

Following those tragic deaths calls were made for road safety measures, a petition was raised asking for 20mph zones across Ramsgate and a public meeting was held.

Now these calls have been renewed by ward councillor Becky Wing, who witnessed the latest incident, and fellow Central Harbour councillors Raushan Ara and Tricia Austin. They say residents are extremely concerned about the level of dangerous driving in the area and pedestrian safety issues when crossing.

They say: “This incident is another example of pedestrians having too few traffic controlled places to cross.”

Ramsgate Town Council recently asked ward councillors for highway ‘priorities’ to forward to Kent County Council.

Cllr Wing decided to walk around her ward and undertake her own Highway Improvement Plan (HIP).

The task was undertaken over a two-week period and included conversations with residents who provided useful information and ideas.

A 20 page Central Harbour HIP has been produced with several recommendations.

These include:

  • The introduction of a ward wide 20 mph speed limit, which would also make cycling safer.
  • The introduction of an increased number of safe crossing points that make traffic stop at key locations.
  • The marking of parking bays to ensure all streets have accessible pavements for pedestrians and the introduction of parking laws that would limit the use of pavement parking outside of these bays.

Cllr Austin said: ‘After the fatal accident on Leopold Street in the summer I brought a motion to Ramsgate Town Council to ask Kent County Council for a 20mph limit in Ramsgate town centre. How many more accidents will need to happen before KCC pays attention to our request? It’s time we prioritised people over cars.”

Cllr Ara added: “The latest incident in Leopold Street highlights the need for a safer crossing for pedestrians. My thoughts are with the people involved and, as a Central Harbour ward councillor, I will keep pushing for better road safety for Ramsgate.

“Although accidents like this are rare, the number of near misses is too high, and Leopold Street is a near miss hotspot.  I have raised this as a priority to KCC Highways Improvement Plan and I promise to keep all informed of any progress.”

Ramsgate county councillor Karen Constantine says she will be arranging a 20s Plenty road safety meeting in the new year. Highways, and police will be invited again, as will South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay.

She added: “Until we have a 20 mph zone, and until we establish a culture of driver caution and adherence to road regulations, accidents will continue. I hope this time, those with the authority to really make something positive happen will attend.

“It isn’t good enough that they ignore the publics continued requests. KCC plan to get to zero accidents by 2050 needs cooperation. If it’s ever going to be achieved.”

Highway plan

The highway plan produced by ward councillors also contains recommendations for parking, including a wider network of resident parking schemes that encourage smaller and electric vehicles; a full review of car parks and access to ‘free time limited parking’ anywhere in Thanet for carers while at work. Port Tunnel maintenance, a lack of EV-charging and other highway issues have also been outlined.

Cllr Wing has made the HIP available to resident groups in the ward and is happy to email to any residents who would like to have a look and contribute.

Ward councillors say they will be ‘pushing’ Thanet council and KCC to give road and pedestrian safety and other highway issues high priority.

Cllr Wing added: “The issues are complex and interlinked and so only through a co-ordinated approach from Thanet council and KCC will things really change.

“I wish Margate well with the extension of its 20mph zone but wonder why Ramsgate remains possibly the only town centre in Kent without such a traffic calming scheme.”

A consultation on changing 10 Ramsgate roads to 20mph zones was run by Kent County Council earlier this year and closed in September. A final report is yet to be published.

Cllr Wing can be contacted on [email protected]

27 Comments

    • People have just got to start driving normally instead of buying a 2009 BMW and thinking their a gangster while they hide behind their wheel with attitude

  1. When you think about it, it’s completely bonkers that vehicles weighing upwards of a tonne and a half should be travelling just centimetres from pedestrians at speeds of 30 mph or more.

  2. Leopold Street is not only unsafe and unsightly generally, it is the grimmest of places to wait for a bus. And now somewhere where people have been killed. The street is dark and dank and like a freezing wind tunnel this time of year. The waiting spaces are a disgrace.
    Consideration of changing the bus stop locations in town or at least making the waiting areas hospitable would help too.

    • Your right Clare! Why are buses using the road anyway? I know they go up Queens Street, but surely they could equally as well go up Royal Parade? Speaking as a mobility scooter user, that part of Queens Street, is fraught!

  3. This should be extended from the West Cliff to the East Cliff including all sea facing roads like wellington Crescent otherwise once out of Central Ward vehicles will speed up making these roads even more dangerous than they are now.

  4. What difference would a 20mph limit have made to a drugged up, drug dealer, driving a defective vehicle? It’d be better to campaign for 30 year minimum prison sentences in such cases and actually have a real deterrent for those who have no intention of being a responsible members of society.

      • Yeah, innthe ramsgate case he’d be off the road for about 20 more years than he likely will be. Repeat that for others and you get a considerable number of significantly risky people out of the way. Around 120 people a year are killed by disqualified drivers. In any other walk of life that number of deaths attributable to a particular group and left unaddressed would be a scandal. Add on those killed by drivers that have committed serious driving offences in the past but who are no longer disqualified and there’s an issue that would have more effect on road safety than 20mph zones.

        • LC, better sentencing and Twenty’s Plenty can both be done. But if so many disqualified drivers are driving into people the ban doesn’t work for them.
          20mph is a good start but we need to press for enforcement and street designs that encourage (actually force) drivers to go slower.
          People who wants to make our streets safer needs to work together on this.

          • How many accidents in 30mph areas are attributed solely to excess speed? In the story about the schemes coming forward in salmestone and drapers mill , just one of the accidents has spped cited.
            If preventing accidents is the primary onjective society needs to look at many other factors than the knee jerk reaction of lowering speed limits. Incidents for the most part are a result of poor driving , – exceeding the 30 limit, preoccupied with a mobile phone, being untaxed/uninsured/ disqualified/in
            Iicensed and as a result reckless and irresponsible, driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

            Then you have actions of pedestrians and cyclists , who from my observations are often far more interested in what their phone has to offer than actually paying attention to the roads around them.

            The fixation on speed has more to do with an underlying anti vehicle agenda than safety as a whole. As the surveys in salmestone showed the average speed was only 24mph anyway.

  5. So sorry for the couple but I see many who cross on the corner and don’t look to their right before crossing the road.

    • I’m not sure that’s an accurate observation. For older people particularly, it’s been drummed into us since school days to “look right, look left, and look right again”
      What is clear, in this case, is that the driver of the car was driving too fast for the circumstances (ie, driving round a bend with limited visibility)

  6. Once they slow down town traffic they will just use Royal parade and St Augustines Road , and I’ve been overtaken many a time up there by boy racers a s seen others only a matter of time b4 an accident happens up there but no speed cameras are in place , traffic police would make a fortune.

    • They can also slow (and damage heavy vehicles) emergency service response times to a significant degree if such measures become to widespread. You also have the issue of patient comfort in ambulances unless they proceed over humps at a snails pace.

  7. Phyllis Quot, I cross that road to catch the Bus home and I’ve seen many who do not look right before crossing. I agree that traffic do speed on that road.

      • Not most, but there are a huge number who take the most cursory of glances , preferring whatever gripping content their phone has to offer. The number of people who walk across roads looking at their phone is absurd ( as are drivers doing the same) .
        Figures for pedestrian accidents where phone use is suspected as a contributory factor ( for either driver or pedestrian ) would be interesting.

  8. In the area mention, The only solution is to ban cars,vans,motor bikes, e scoters, trucks (except trash collection) Delivery’s can be done between 2am and 3am.
    Just allow busses and a dedicated short route into the smelly carpark.
    Camera surveillance will be required for enforcement and issuing penalty notices. Tdc will make so much money and us pedestrians will be safe.

  9. You really think 20mph will stop people treating the roads like their own personal racetrack? It won’t, they speed through York Street, park dangerously outside wilko, revving their engines while making everyone listen to the crappy distorted music coming out of their speakers, they drive through the town as and when they please and I’ve seen some drivers get annoyed because there’s too many pedestrians…. I think we should have better traffic control at the junction of Queen Street, Effingham Street and Leopold Street and make York Street, harbour Street and the town centre pedestrian only, except those with permits (business owners) and deliveries

  10. There are loads of views and ideas for action. I’m also interested in traffic data as mentioned by Lc.
    The Central Harbour Cllr’s will hopefully co-ordinate some action so everyone can have their issues heard.

  11. Would be best if gangs of angry locals tackled these bad drivers, attached them to a rocket and fired them into the sun.

    Putting a 20mph sign wont do anything.
    Can’t wait to see Cllr Palpatine try and blag as much news as possible while achieving nothing.

  12. Although this was an absolute tragedy and I agree Leopold Street has far too much going on with the car park, bus stops, hotel, shop deliveries and visitors the council values trees before people’s safety so why would they consider putting safety before cars. Except of course if the tree was in danger of falling on a car.

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