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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When will KCC take action on dangerous junction?

At least once a year there is a nasty prang in the same part of Dane Valley. Always it is when a car is making a right hand turn out of Tenterden Way onto Millmead road.

The accidents are all, as far as I can tell, caused by the same thing - the complete invisibility of traffic to the right of the junction. The oncoming traffic may be invisible but so too is the turning. I have to tell people who give me a lift, a surprise turning is coming up and they still sometimes miss it.

The total invisibility is caused by people parking on Millmead Road combined with the hill and the slight curve in the road.

There are two schools on Tenterden Way and traffic can get pretty heavy there twice a day. Surely, it can only be a matter of time until someone, possibly a child, is killed in one of these accidents.

My two sisters and mother were hurt in a crash at that junction. The doctors were very worried about youngest sister as she was pregnant at the time. Her belly was purple from bruising and they wondered if she would lose her baby.

Post-crash baby-belly

That story has a happy ending and this Wednesday saw my niece's sixth birthday. We got lucky but luck should not be what keeps us safe on the roads.

After that, I wrote to KCC and asked for a mirror to be put up. They said no because of health and safety. If that makes sense to you, would you please explain it to me.

Next, I took the issue to TDC. At the time TDC was run by Labour who promised double yellow lines. This is far from the best solution as yellow lines are only going to make life harder for the people who live by the junction and own cars and do nothing to physically prevent people from parking there. The double yellow lines order has been stuck in development hell ever since. UKIP led TDC seem deeply unwilling to chase up on it. Here's the 2013 order from TDC to KCC which says The order was made 11th December, 2013, and its provisions will come into effect on 16th December, 2013.

So I am back at it again. KCC could put up a mirror; they could paint the junction to raise awareness of it (like they did in the lead up to the Victoria Road traffic lights); they could lower the speed limit, or they could come up with some other plan. KCC could do any one of a number of low-cost things and yet - nothing.

So I started a petition to force KCC to take action. For the petition to work it needs at least a few hundred signatures.

Last week I was featured in the local paper because of this petition ("Activist demands action at 'terrifying' junction"). The journalist reporting the story confirmed what I had seen - a litany of injuries and nasty accidents at that junction.

How long before we read of a fatality there?

It does not take long to sign the petition all you need to give is your name, postcode, and email address. I'd also appreciate it if you could share it on social media and tell your friends. KCC needs to act before someone is killed.

Sign the Petition Here

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A social comment or a lost loo?

A sharp-eyed twitter user spotted this toilet sitting aloft a traffic camera.

I have no idea what is going on here but feel free to speculate.

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Why are TDC sacking street cleaners?

TDC have been shedding street cleaners at an average rate of 10.44% a year and that percentage is growing.

If you have been wondering if your street is cleaned as often as it used to be then wonder no more. Your street is almost definitely being cleaned less.

Street Cleaners in Thanet

From 2010 to 2014 TDC reduced the number of staff cleaning the streets by an average of 6 a year. If that rate holds then by 2021 (6 years from now) there will be no one cleaning our streets at all.

As of 2013-14 Broadstairs had just two dedicated street cleaners for the whole town.

To put this in perspective: By the next general election the trend data suggests that there will be just five or six staff cleaning all the streets in Thanet.

Are Thanet District Council attempting to end street cleaning by stealth?

What can be done to halt this decline?

How clean is your street?

Data: In 2011-12 just 5.2% of staff were lost; in 2012-13 staff were reduced by 10.9%; but in 2013-14 a whopping 12.24% were let go. Source: Street Cleansing Number of full time staff (or equivalent); data provided by Thanet District Council, 19 June 2014 [link]

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Gloag's Revenge?

Is Ann Gloag, perhaps, exacting her revenge on the people of Thanet by raising bus fares?

The prices of Stagecoach bus tickets has gone up again despite relatively stable fuel and insurance prices of late. This increase is well above the rate of inflation and follows closely on the closure of Manston and the bankrupting of another bus rival.

Ann Gloag made her fortune with Stagecoach and then brought Manston airport for a pound and turned down Seven Million times what she paid for it. She did that because some people in KCC and TDC might have given her the impression that she would be given the freedom to build houses there which would be worth a lot, lot more (to her, not us).

Having lied to us (whether deliberately or retrospectively by changing her mind) about intending to run the airport for several years questions are also being asked regarding the cosy relationship her bus service has with the local council. For example how can we trust Gloag's company to deliver fair value for money with her buses?

...

» Continue Reading: Gloag's Revenge?

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