By George Caffery / Transport / / 0 Comments

Can you park outside your house? For many people living in the centre of town this is a dream; but why can’t we make it a reality?

The last month has shown us that a one way system across Whitstable might just work, but also that any change to traffic needs to consider the impact it has on local businesses, road safety and be done in conjunction with a rethink of how people who depend on public transport get into town.

Last weekend, Labour MP Rosie Duffield, was out with local candidates in the centre of Whitstable, hearing how the almost 300% rise in off street parking permits over the last five years is hitting people hard. She described the  “the council is ‘cashing in’ on growing waiting lists for these places rather than considering new ways to stop the high street and local streets being gridlocked”. We all understand that tourism brings money into our town but this council isn’t squaring up to the traffic it brings.

Labour is committed to a new Park and Ride for the Whitstable but more importantly also believes we need an independent strategic plan to be commissioned to explore the problem of parking. A plan in which the council can work alongside concerned residents associations, businesses and local residents to identify the options and then consult widely across the town as to which has the greatest support. A consultation which involves face to face stakeholder events, local surveys and town hall style meetings to engage with all the local community rather than just those groups who are most organised.

All options should be on the table, like in Bristol’s recent’s consultation on Citizen Space.

George Caffrey, Labour candidate for Gorrell, notes that “previous attempts to impose solutions haven’t worked, nothing should be off the table. We need radical ideas we can all get behind”. If you agree, vote Labour on May 2

By George Caffery / Latest News / / 0 Comments
“The bit of Island Wall I walk over every day has been severely damaged. I have spoken to my local CCC councillor, CCC planning and KCC Highways. Their attitude seems to be that Island Wall is so bad anyway the damage the constructors have caused doesn’t make any difference. CCC and KCC have both stated that the road looks the same as photos they took in 2015. Not only is this nonsense it is also insulting to the many residents who have taken photos of the damage and the trucks ignoring the weight limit. Because we have complained as individuals we are just individually fobbed off. A tactic employed until the project is completed, too late to do anything about our road.

If the Local Authority has granted a dispensation to the contractors to exceed the weight limit, because that is what it looks like to residents, it is extremely dangerous, a 3 tonne weight limit is nothing. Many of us have complained of gates being bent out of shape, walls and fences out of true. There has been a huge catalogue of complaints going on for months now about this development. The Local Authority has a duty of care to its Citizens. It should not just pander to the desires of developers for revenue.

Developers could not care less about the damage the environment or the distress to residents their actions cause. None of the Local Authorities are going to pursue the builders to repair the road when they have finished.

Be assured the residents are all collecting photographic evidence to develop a collective response.  If in the end we get KCC to resurface or repair our road it will come out of the public purse. Thus the public end up by stealth funding private companies. When this project went to planning we were told there would be temporary road around the golf course to gain access to the site, so objections were kept to the minimum. I am convinced that the developers should pay for repairs. After all, most reputable contractors should be insured for this kind of damage.