Sandwich is Britain's best preserved medieval town, and has a total of 443 listed properties. At times, however, traffic passing through historic narrow streets makes the lives of residents in Sandwich unnecessarily difficult. I've worked with Kent, Dover and Sandwich Town Councils to see action taken to resolve the situation.
Just two months after I was elected, I convened a high-level meeting between representatives of Sandwich, Kent County Council and Stagecoach. An agreement I brokered saw Stagecoach and Kent County Council take immediate action to stem the flow of HGVs through the historic town.
In November I organised a Sandwich Traffic Summit to advance progress on my mission to improve the Sandwich experience for visitors and residents. The Summit endorsed the developed plans from KCC to end the chaos caused by HGVs in the town.
I called a Debate in Parliament to discuss the use of inappropriate GPS systems by HGV drivers. Local residents know only too well the chaos caused by lorries lured into our lanes by systems built for cars. I tackled the issue head on with Transport Minister Claire Perry MP. During the debate the Minister committed to redoubling the Government's efforts to ending this menace.
In June I chaired a meeting with Chief Inspector Guy Thompson, the District Commander of Dover Police. We discussed the incoming Traffic Restriction Order and the Police's commitment to enforcing it. Chief Inspector Thompson committed to providing officers for enforcement and to taking a strong line on those lorries caught infringing the order.
In August 2016 Rummey Design commissioned to create a masterplan for the future of civic design and traffic in Sandwich. You can read their full report below.
In February of this year, I hosted my fourth Traffic Summit for Sandwich. I am delighted that residents are seeing real progress; the Gateways installed last year at the Town's entrances have significantly reduced the number of HGVs entering the town. In addition, pavement and bollard improvements will be made to Breezy Corner on to enhance building protection and pedestrian safety. A new disabled friendly Zebra Crossing will also be installed on New Street, helping to calm traffic, and extending the 20 mph speed limit. Both should be completed by mid-April.