Thanet Star

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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Getting about Thanet over Christmas and New Year

The Thanet Star guide for Christmas and New Year to Buses, Trains and Taxis.

This is a follow up to our overview of bus services and offers looking at bus times, train times and taxi prices over the holiday period.

Monday 23rd

Buses today are running but they follow the School Holiday timetables. They seem to be a bit busier than normal and delaies are reportedly common. Give yourself a bit of extra time to make any bus trips today.

Trains are running as normal today and taxis are charging the normal rate.

Tuesday 24th (Christmas Eve)

Trains will run as normal but will finish early. If you are hoping to get the last train home please make sure you double check your times at the station.

Buses again follow the School Holiday timetables but finish early. Loop and Breeze routes will both finish running between 8pm and 10pm with most stops last being serviced just after 9pm.

The last bus to Canturbury (from Margate) is 1945 (7:45pm)
The last bus back from Canturbury to Margate is 2040 (8:40pm)
The last bus to Margate from Birchington is at 2023 (8:23pm)
The last bus to Birchington from Margate 2109 (just after 9pm)

If you are out enjoying the revelry please remember to keep a little extra back for your cab fair as taxi's after 11pm (2300) are liable to be a bit pricey.

Cab prices are normal from but 7pm to 11pm they move to Time and a Half and from 11pm onwards right up to Double Time.

Wednesday 25th (Christmas Day)

No buses or trains running. Taxi Firms will be charging double time. Be safe and enjoy yourself.

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» Continue Reading: Getting about Thanet over Christmas and New Year

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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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Did you know?

Margate was the first seaside resort to introduce deck chairs way back in 1898.

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MP Roger Gail (Thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

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Did you know

MP Roger Gale (Thanet North) has never voted on measures to reduce tax avoidance

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Too popular

On Wednesday 28th May the article The staggering truth about Gloag's Manston deal was so popular that it was briefly unreachable as the server could not supply pages fast enough.

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