Thursday, September 01, 2005

They're Coming Down

Thanet Tories launch Clocktower roadworks scheme

Press release.

Senior Thanet Tories were on Margate seafront this week (Wednesday) to launch the start, on Monday (5th September) of the programme of works to remove Margate's unloved Clocktower traffic lights and to create a new traffic system.

The Leader of the Council, Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel, Margate's MP, Roger Gale and Transport Committee member Cllr. Rozanne Duncan were on site to celebrate the announcement that the planned work is to commence earlier than expected.

Speaking at the Clocktower Sandy Ezekiel said:

“I am delighted that we are now in the position to commence the realisation of another Conservative election pledge. We were committed to bring about the removal of the traffic light system, installed under the previous administration, that has caused delay and frustration . The works will take some time but will be completed before Christmas and we hope that in the meantime drivers will be as patient as they have had to be for the past few years. At last an end to this problem is in sight".

Cllr. Ezekiel also paid tribute to Cllr. Rozanne Duncan for her work on the Transport committee and to William Whelan who, as a County Councillor had given such tremendous support to the campaign to remove the lights." Margate owes a great debt to William for his determination and for raising the profile of the issue" he said.

Margate's MP, Roger Gale, added:

“I am deeply grateful for the backing that we have received from KCC and from the Leader of the County Council, Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, personally.

Kent has been short-changed badly by central Government and finding the money to carry out this work has not been easy for either the County or for Thanet but the leaders of both Councils have been determined to honour the election pledge and another promise is being kept. Before the General Election I said that I expected work to start in late Autumn and it is good to know that the job is commencing ahead of schedule."


James Maskell said...

Thats great news. I hope that the Labour Councillors which have not only poured scepticism on the pledge to get rid of the traffic lights but also criticised the plans when they appeared in front of the Transportation Board will have the humility to take it back and welcome this news.

Anonymous said...

I doubt it. At the Joint Transporatation Board. Labour KCC councillors voted in favour of an amendment to take legal action against their own council over the original trafic lights decision some 8 years ago, and Cllr Hart has spent time even at County Hall casting doubt on the pedestrian safety of any changed scheme. There is popular approval from residents for this change, although ti has to be noted that the traffic flows will have increased over the last 8 years and the flows may not be as good as memory now tells us it was!

Chris Wells

Cllr David Green said...

Cllr Wells knows that Labour's objections to the current scheme were not about denying public desires for improvement, but were concerns about what is now proposed.
The highways officer's report stated quite clearly that the new scheme will not improve traffic flow at peak times, but will lead to lower pedestrian safety.
This is a complex junction and a little more effort to consult local knowledge and get the best possible result would have benefitted the scheme.

James Maskell said...

I was at the Joint Transportation Board meeting when the plans were on the agenda and I was able to listen to the debate and have a quick look at the proposed plans. I honestly cant see what all the fuss from Labour is.

Whilst doing the Margate Carnival (which went brilliantly - thank you to everybody who gave Margate FC such a tremendous welcome home), I was able to see for myself the traffic flows and see what the plans would do. The current system is confusing and is likely to lead to serious incidents unless its replaced.

I think the problem Labour has is that Labour are annoyed that their system is being replaced. I remember being told that the only reason the system was put into place was because there was some money available for this and if they didnt spent it on that they would have to give the money back, which they didnt want to do.

Anonymous said...

I use the Clock Tower Junction quite a lot every day and don't think its too bad generally. OK summertime you get the odd 5 minutes to enjoy looking at the views but in the winter it flows well.
If there were going to be "serious incidents" I think we would have had them by now and I'm not aware of any.
As far as the lights being put in just because the money was available - maybe its true.
Isn't this why we are getting the Turner Thing?
Equally a bad idea I fear.

Anonymous said...

The clock tower lights have been a disaster from day one it must have been designed by a dustman!
It is about time that it was changed.

Different Anonymous said...

It is true that from day one it was not right but the timing and sequence of the lights was changed and then finetuned again and again until it is now quite good.

I have always been in favour of routing traffic around the back to come out by the station and pedestrianising the seafront.
That would be expensive to do, but would make a very pleasant stroll.

pk said...

Granted, the juction is not great but I can't see changing it will do any good. It's going to be busy whatever system is in place as it is Margate seafront we are talking about. I think changing it will also create more confusion and is likely to result in accidents. Hopefully any political point scoring can stop and we can just leave it as it is, please.