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Concerns mount over KCC proposal for one-way Market Street in Sandwich

By Eleanor Perkins

There is mounting concern over plans to ease congestion in Market Street which could force all traffic, including lorries, down a narrow lane.

Kent County Council has launched a consultation into making Market Street one-way, directing vehicles of all sizes down the Butchery, towards Breezy Corner.

Former councillor Charles Miller, who resigned in a row over other traffic measures, says the scheme is flawed.

Market Street in Sandwich. The Butchery is in the top left corner.
Market Street in Sandwich. The Butchery is in the top left corner.

He says the narrow lane will be expected to cope with up to 60% more traffic according to figures collected in his own survey.

He believes that no research has been undertaken on traffic flow, accessibility or the impact on pedestrians. He wants a pilot scheme before any changes are enforced.

He told KentOnline: “The Butchery is a narrow street that is arguably unsuitable for larger vehicles.

“Many delivery vehicles effect a U-turn at the north end of Market Street rather than risk damage by trying to pass between the bollards at that end of The Butchery.

“The exit to Breezy Corner is also narrowed by parking bays on either side. If a wide vehicle is parked in the doctor’s bay it can be difficult for even an average sized car to get through.

“It is not possible for pedestrians and vehicles to use it at the same time without people flattening themselves against walls or vehicles stopping."

Former councillor Charles Miller is against the proposal
Former councillor Charles Miller is against the proposal

Resident John Hennessy recognises it is a genuine attempt to improve the situation in Market Street but has some concerns.

He said: “At least two or three times a week there are ambulances in The Butchery. If it’s the only exit, that will bring part of the town to a halt.

“Something has got to be done but this is filing all the traffic into Breezy Corner which is already a renowned problem spot.

“But it’s a medieval town so there is never going to be a wonderful solution,” he added.

Kent County Councillor for Sandwich Sue Chandler said: “This is part of the New Vision for Sandwich which is to improve access in Market Street.

“It is very much the result of previous consultations to make Market Street a more calm place in traffic terms and it should help the businesses.

“It is the next stage of improvements by KCC to work that has been done on Breezy Corner and New Street.”

The consultation will run until Monday, December 18.

You can share your views on the proposal by writing to Richard Heaps, Ashford Highways Depot, Javelin Way, Henwood Industrial Estate, Ashford, TN24 8AD or email SandwichConsultations@kent.gov.uk

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