Published: 10:38, 08 October 2020
| Updated: 13:59, 08 October 2020
Pressure is mounting on highways chiefs to install a gate on a pedestrianised road to stop motorists flouting the rules.
Campaigners are demanding Kent County Council takes action before someone is injured in Harbour Street in Ramsgate, which links the town to the seafront and harbour.
The road has a traffic order meaning it is prohibited to drive along there between 10am and 5pm, but some people continue to do so.
Richard Styles, clerk at Ramsgate Town Council, says they have spent more than three years trying to obtain permission from KCC to install one across the street and says the town council has the money for it.
He says this will fully prevent unauthorised motorists from driving up there and that gates and rising bollards are common practice in Faversham, Deal and Canterbury.
"It’s totally frustrating that KCC will not respond to reason," Mr Styles said.
"We have been trying to make arrangements with them for three years, we have answered every question they have asked and have given a range of reassurances about how the opening and closing of the gate will be managed, including access for emergency vehicles.
"It’s simply ridiculous that we are prevented from moving forward.
"We have the money for the gates, and traders and residents alike want to see them installed without further delay.
"Without the gates public safety will continue to be compromised and Harbour Street will not be the pleasant amenity it could be."
Kent county councillor for Ramsgate Cllr Karen Constantine is urging people to write to KCC leader Cllr Roger Gough to try to get a gate installed.
"We’ve recently seen very effective ‘people power’ at work in Westgate and Broadstairs, where local residents have joined together to overturn KCC decisions, getting rid of traffic schemes that were imposed on them," she said.
"It’s time to show the same community spirit in Ramsgate.
"Despite all my efforts over the last three years I’m now absolutely fed up with being fobbed off on this issue.
"Enough is enough. I’m urging people to write directly to Cllr Roger Gough to simply say 'Dear Roger, enough is enough - we want a gate on Harbour Street for safety’s sake'.
"Ramsgate Town Council confirms that it has sufficient money set aside for a gate and that town council staff can service and maintain them.
"The town council states the only thing preventing the installation of the gate is the fact that KCC is dragging its feet."
A KCC spokesman said: "We have had extensive correspondence with Ramsgate Town Council and the local member about the possibility of installing gates on Harbour Street.
"Last year we agreed with Ramsgate Town Council that they could install an electric rising bollard that would be monitored by Thanet District Council, however the town council has now indicated it would prefer a gate.
"Before installing a gate, we would need to know how the town council plans to operate the gates, including arrangements for access for emergency vehicles, security van money collections and service vehicles that might require access during restricted hours.
"We would also like to see evidence that gates are supported by the businesses and residents within the town centre, including stakeholders such as the emergency services.
"At this stage we have not received the requested information and subsequently no decision has been made."
To write to the KCC leader email Roger.Gough@kent.gov.uk