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Sandwich residents call for evidence to support traffic plans

By Eleanor Perkins

A group of Sandwich residents are still calling for firm evidence to support proposed traffic management measures set to be introduced in the town.

Former councillor Charles Miller and 20 others including Michael Tebbutt, of Upper Strand Street, and Sam Smale, of Honfleur Road, have written a second letter to the mayor, Cllr Paul Graeme, reiterating their request.

They want to know the extent of problems presented by traffic management works which will be paid for by developers contributions for infrastructure – otherwise known as 106 money.

Charles Miller
Charles Miller

They claim Cllr Graeme’s response to their first letter in May sidesteps their questions.

A summary of their second letter says their requests for transparency have not been addressed.

It says: “You do not address our request that concrete evidence supporting proposed traffic management measures be made available to councillors before they make decisions and to Sandwich residents ahead of consultation, as required by Kent County Council.

“The failure to do so to date is, we believe, a serious error both of substance and process which is within your power to correct before further steps are taken.”

Mr Miller resigned as a councillor in February because he disagreed the town council should spend its section 106 fund on traffic management work without applying the evidential tests.

He says these tests are necessary at every other tier of government.

He said: “We maintain that the council’s decisions on traffic management should be based on fact, not on supposition.

“Conclusions should be derived from demonstrably researched evidence, not from guesswork.”

Mr Miller believes gateways recently installed around Sandwich with the sole aim of deterring lorries are an example of why evidence is needed.

He said: “Installation of gateways where they can have no deterrent influence on unwanted lorry throughput is an example of the cost of taking shortcuts in this respect.”

Mr Miller believes they have been poorly sited, past the last possible turn-off to the bypass, so drivers of large vehicles seeing them have no option but to continue through the town.

Cllr Paul Graeme told the Mercury that he will be replying to the letter.

He said: “We really feel we’ve covered everything we can in writing and the most useful way forward would be to have a fully minuted face-to-face meeting, and we look forward to finding a mutually convenient date so we can discuss the issues concerned.”

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