Thanet Star

Spate of serious accidents in Cliftonville

After a spate of accidents in Northdown Road, is it time that speed cameras were installed?

Since the start of June there have been multiple serious accidents and, no doubt, many more unreported near misses. At least one of the accidents resulted in the death of 90-year-old man.

This has left many wondering if enough is being done to prevent accidents in the area.

Locals report that speeding cars and bikes have become a regular occurrence in Northdown Road. The stretch between Northumberland Ave and Princess Margaret Ave being of particular concern.

Seriouse accidents

A woman and four children were been taken to hospital after a collision involving a car and a group of pedestrians in Northdown Road. Reported by The Isle of The Thanet News (1 June 2017)

The air ambulance flew a man in his 80s to hospital after a serious crash between a car and a pedestrian in Northdown Road. Reported by Kent Live News (12 June 2007)

A pedestrian suffered serious injuries after being hit by a motorbike in Northdown Road. Reported by Kent Online and The Isle of The Thanet News [twice] (19 August 2017)

A 90-year-old man was killed in a collision in Northdown Road. Reported by Kent Live News, The BBC, and
The Isle of The Thanet News (20 August 2017)

Are speed camera the answer?

One local man told me he never thought he would say it but he thinks that we desperately need speed cameras on Northdown Road.

Like many people, I have my doubts about the effectiveness of speed cameras but in this case, I have to wonder if they might be needed?

While hated by motorists, studies seem to suggest that the number of serious accidents are reduced by about a quarter when speed cameras are in place. So the question has to be asked - would a speed camera have saved a man's life?

Time for action

Many have been left wondering when the local authority is going to take action.

How many more people need to die before the danger of this stretch of road is given high enough priority in the shrinking local budget?

Is there time before Brexit, to get some EU money to make improvements?

There are many questions and few answers. I have reached out for comments and will publish a follow up when I get some replies.

Tell us your story

Have you been affected by speeding traffic in Northdown Road?

Do you feel more could be done?

Give us your view of this issue in the comments.

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Jon Snow's speech shows why Thanet needs bloggers

Jon Snow has said that the media elite has lost touch. They dropped the ball, but we can pick it up.

Of all of the words spoken, written, or broadcast this week, a fifty-minute oration stands out. A speech made by Jon Snow. Not the Game of Throne character but the anchor of ITNís Channel 4 News.

Jon Snow was in Edinburgh giving the 2017 MacTaggart Lecture at an annual Television Festival.

Snow spoke truth to power. He asked serious questions of journalism. He highlighted the need to connect the elite with the truth of the wider community, the forgotten, the marginalised, the "bottom end of society".

There is a massive disconnect between the wealthy and the less-well off. This disconnect gives voice to the wealthy and hides the poor from view. Local newspaper services have all but died and taken that voice with them.

Sure, The Isle of Thanet News has popped up. It is run by the ex-editor of our one remaining "local paper". Something anyone of us could have done, if only we knew how.

It's not the technology - we all have access to that.

Even here there is a disconnect where those with the connections, the training, the skills, they are in too high demand elsewhere.

The way I see it, we have few options.

  • Remain voiceless and just suffer the consiquences
  • Hope that the media elite decide that Thanet worth talking about again
  • Wait for someone to freely offer up the knowledge of how to run a true local news hub
  • Create one anyway by simple virtue of critical mass - enough people, enough blogs, working at once.
  • Allow rumour and disnformation to run rampant...

Surely the only answer from our side of the fence is to create a critical mass of blogs. Sure, any given blog will probably be a bit poor, or published irregularly, or only occasionally interesting.

Together though, we might get the attention of the national papers.

We've done it before.

There is a whole list of free places we could be blogging from. There a few blogs still talking about Thanet. Not as many as there once was, but some.

Jon Snow may well be right that the media elite has lost touch with us. He might be right that they need to try harder. But waiting for a hand out is not our only option.

Clips from Jon Snow's speech, understandably, did the rounds on social media but the whole thing is worth 50 minutes of your time.

Jon Snow said:

Like my fellow journalists, I have spent many hours around Grenfell. I have come to know a number of the survivors, and I speak to them regularly by phone or e-mail.

So casually written off as nameless migrants, scroungers, illegals, and the rest. Actually, and it should be no shock to us, the tower was full of talent. Not least the wonderful and talented Khadija Saye, who died with her mother, on the verge of a major breakthrough as an artist.

He also said:

We the media report the lack of diversity in other walks of life, but our own record is nothing like good enough.

The Sutton Trust has revealed this year that just under 80% of top editors were educated at private schools or grammar schools. Compare that with the 88% of the British public now in comprehensives.

Itís why I want to urge anyone and everyone in this room with the power to do it: give individuals who work with and for you the space to do something, anything, in the wider community we are here to communicate with.

We have the technology to create that space for ourselves. We have the freedom if we are willing to take it.

If you still feel that you need permission to be part of changing the world, you will wait until the end of time.

Go and make waves.

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Mentions

We got a mention in 5 ways to blog from Thanet now.

Blogs
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Creatives

Thanet Creative have a new webiste and a new name

Blogs
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Local Art

Local Artist, John Wooster-Brown has a new website.

Blogs
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Like to write?

If you love to write then the Thanet Creative Writers blog might be the ideal place to connect with your nearest writer group.

Blogs
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Hyper-localism

For those interested in blogging local news in and arround the UK this BBC article from last year is sure to be of interest.

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