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Parking spaces under threat from proposed new cycle lane on Cheriton High Street in Folkestone


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A businessman who has led a campaign against planned cycle lanes says he will go "all the way to the High Court" to oppose the scheme.

John Baker, who runs County Hardware in Cheriton, has collected more than 2,500 signatures opposing the proposal for the new infrastructure linking the area to the centre of Folkestone.

How the planned cycle lanes could look in Cheriton high street. Picture: Kent County Council
How the planned cycle lanes could look in Cheriton high street. Picture: Kent County Council

The scheme, paid for by the government’s Active Travel Fund, would require the removal of around 70% of the on-street parking in Cheriton Road and Cheriton High Street to make way for the cycle paths.

Traders have led the campaign against the plans, saying they believe the lack of parking spaces will see shoppers go elsewhere.

Details of the scheme - including the loss of parking - have now been released in greater depth by Kent County Council (KCC) as part of a second round of consultation.

"So many businesses will close," Mr Baker, who has run his shop for almost 25 year, said in response to the plans.

"I'm not sure how we'll even get a delivery. When you look at it, it looks like they have taken some of the forecourts, which belong to the shop.

Posters opposing cycle lanes in Cheriton have appeared in shop windows
Posters opposing cycle lanes in Cheriton have appeared in shop windows
How the cycle lanes may look outside the Harvey Grammar School in Cheriton Road. Picture: Kent County Council
How the cycle lanes may look outside the Harvey Grammar School in Cheriton Road. Picture: Kent County Council

"If they think they can just build on it then they have got another thing coming - we will take it all the way to the High Court if we have to.

"This is coming from a Tory government, you vote Tory and get Green, there's no difference."

In all, KCC has secured £6 million for five active travel schemes across the county.

A cycle route from Hythe to Dymchurch received a high level of support in the early consultation and does not require any further detailed design, so will go ahead as previously proposed.

The consultation over the four remaining routes is now open and closes on October 25.

Cllr Rebecca Shoob is urging people to comment on the plans
Cllr Rebecca Shoob is urging people to comment on the plans

"Having seen the proposals, I remain supportive of the scheme and believe this is a significant opportunity for Cheriton," Green Party ward councillor Rebecca Shoob said.

"Looking at the detail, I cannot support the option that removes mature trees in favour of parking. I would want to see as much greening as possible and am encouraged by the references to parklets, increased seating and opportunities for socialising.

"We all want to see a thriving local high street. We are really lucky to have such a great and growing range of local shops in Cheriton. Making it a cleaner, safer, more attractive place to spend time in should lead to greater footfall and spend.

"Finally, and most importantly, whether you are for or against the proposals, it is essential that a wide range of voices are heard so I would encourage everyone to look at the detail, ask questions and complete the survey."

To share you views on the plans by taking part in the consultation, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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