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Thanet Way 50mph limit between Herne Bay and Whitstable broken by thousands of motorists

Thousands of motorists are breaking the new 50mph limit on the Thanet Way every day – but authorities are failing to tackle the problem.

The restriction was introduced last month along the stretch of the dual carriageway between Marshside and Dargate.

But a Gazette investigation this week found motorists are routinely flouting the law, with dozens filmed speeding past our reporter as he drove along the stretch.

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The 50mph limit has been enforced along the Thanet Way. Picture: Joe Wright
The 50mph limit has been enforced along the Thanet Way. Picture: Joe Wright

Kent County Council says it has been forced into cutting the limit as the road surface is uneven, but not a single ticket has been handed to speeding drivers, despite many motorists completely ignoring the rule.

County councillor for Herne Bay Brian MacDowall (Ukip) said: “The problem with the lower limit at the moment is that drivers cannot see a danger so it does not demand respect.

“When the roadworks begin, drivers will recognise the need to obey the limit.

“As the works progress into the new year, you will see much greater compliance with the limit.”

Police officers were spotted with speed guns on the route last month, but spokesman
Martin Very said no penalties were handed out to drivers breaking the limit.

He said special constables were going through speed enforcement training on the road.

Ukip councillor Brian MacDowall
Ukip councillor Brian MacDowall

Mr Very said: “Our roads policing unit, as well as local district policing teams, patrol Kent’s roads in line with demand, using both marked and unmarked vehicles.

“We will work with our partners to run specific road traffic operations in order to robustly enforce speed limits while promoting road safety.

“Motorists have personal responsibility to drive not only within the law but also to the conditions of the road to ensure they play their part in making our roads safe for all road users.”

The driver was caught on the A299 Thanet Way. Picture: Joe Wright
The driver was caught on the A299 Thanet Way. Picture: Joe Wright

KCC bosses said repair work would begin shortly, and was set to continue into the new year.

The uneven conditions had been caused by long bouts of wet and then dry weather, causing shrinkage and expansion of the clay the road is built on.

"The temporary 50mph speed limit is mandatory for motorists..." - Ella Watkins, KCC

Spokesman Ella Watkins said: “The temporary 50mph speed limit is mandatory for motorists and should be adhered to as any other speed limit.

“As with any road, if speed limits are not being adhered to, speed enforcement measures can be introduced and we would discuss this with our police partners.

"We are currently considering the introduction of more information signs to raise awareness for motorists.

“Work to resurface the 10.5-mile stretch commences from mid-November and, dependent on the weather, we hope to have this complete by March 2017.

“The lower speed limit will be removed as sections of resurfacing are completed.

“We will continue to work with police to monitor the speed of traffic within the speed limit reduction.”

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