Local businesses are calling for the controversial Westgate traffic trial to be scrapped early. The businesses placed nearby the road that is affected have started a petition demanding that the Westgate Towers be re-opened. It already has over 700 signatures, and will be discussed by the city council’s Overview Committee if it tops 1,500 by Tuesday 19 June.
The majority of county and city councillors at Monday night’s Canterbury Area Member Panel voted to recommend that the 12-month scheme, which started in March, be abandoned early, and want to re-open the area to traffic and reinstate a pedestrian crossing in North Lane.
Michael Weller, of Whitehall Bridge Road, criticised the scheme, saying the lack of pedestrian crossing makes it difficult for the elderly, disabled and blind to reach Westgate Gardens and the traffic rules are confusing, even for the police officers trying to enforce them. He also stated that the increase in traffic in the area has created rat runs and increased journey times, especially around the rush hour. The council’s transport boss Richard Moore said the lack of crossings was working well for most pedestrians, but admitted there is a concern in Station Road West; he recognised that some businesses had been hit hard, but said that pedestrian reliant companies, such as pubs and restaurants, had benefited.