Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Northwood Traffic Problems

Last week's Isle of Thanet Gazette had an interesting letter from Conservative Thanet District Councillor David Lawson who represents St. Peter's:

"Recently the Isle of Thanet Gazette published an article with regard to the nuisance caused by students parking their cars along Northwood Road and nearby roads, sometimes blocking the driveways of residents.

Last week I had a meeting at Canterbury with the vice chancellor and principal of the Christ Church university, Dr. Robin Barker. He was at pains to stress that he did not approve of such action by the students and would be writing to them.

With immediate effect he has instructed that further free car parking spaces within the campus are made available for the students."

This is not a very green response. However, it is a result of the Conservative Thanet District Council not planning properly for the new college buildings.

In October 2007 Your Thanet reported on my work for Northwood residents.

Gridlock fear over new campus

"A NEW campus for Thanet College could lead to traffic problems in Westwood, say councillors.

Richard Nicholson, the Labour Party’s . Thanet leader, has voiced concern that the roads around Westwood Cross could become even more congested if the college moves there, as planned, in 2011

He said: "We are concerned with what amounts to nothing more than promises and doubtless finger crossing that our infrastructure can accommodate this move to the Westwood Cross area."

The new campus, a £43 million project has been given the go-ahead by council members but awaits further approval from the Government Office for the South East (GOSE).

Councillor Mark Nottingham, who represents the Northwood ward, an area that suffers from congestion from Westwood, added: "Residents are concerned with this planned move.

"They are not against a better Thanet College but even now, before a brick has been laid, they cannot get out of their driveways because of the traffic.

"We need to ensure a properly thought out travel plan is produced to deal with this whole question."

The modern campus building has been project managed by Adam Granger who met with staff from the college to ensure the needs of each department are properly met and that the move will go smoothly."

The new state-of-the-art campus building will cater for 8,000 students and enjoy close links with the neighbouring Canterbury Christ Church University."

I remember being told that many students would take the Loop bus to Westwood Cross and then walk through to the University and College. I am sure some do, but far more as I predicted take their cars. This was always likely with a new site that was poorly served by public transport.

Today I still have residents and businesses contacting me who complain about traffic and parking problems. My picture shows an all too typical scene of traffic congestion on Margate Road. For voters in the coming elections though this is a clear lesson of a key issue in Thanet that the Conservatives got wrong and which Labour councillors called right.


  1. Mark, I must say I admire your loyalty to your beliefs whereby you keep fighting the local Labour cause whilst, on other blogs, there is mayhem over your deselection.

    Interesting how your last two posts have attracted minimal comment yet, elsewhere, posts on the local Labour leadership and your deselection can attract forty or more.

    Guess we all know what people are really interested in and its not traffic I am afraid.

  2. any more building at westwood cross will lead to traffic problems. it doesnt take a genius to work that out. you build a giant car magnet in the centre of thanet and you get cars there. then you decide to move almost all the secondary schools into the same area, served by the same roads and more cars come there. and then you decide to put a university there and more cars come there. go to any other major town and wheres the out of town shopping centre? er, out of town. go to thanet and where is it - in the middle. duh

  3. Mark,

    The result of not providing sufficient parking spaces on the site is apparant. What is not so clear is that the last government took the right to determin the number of parking spaces away from the Local Authority! The coalition has given us the right to do that.

  4. Ps

    As Iris would say 'Its in My Ward'