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Council keen on permanent Westgate scheme

It was confirmed by Kent County Council today (16th January) that the St Dunstan’s and Westgate Towers environmental improvements and traffic management trial will continue for the full year and finish at the end of March. KCC also announced that the road layout will return to its previous configuration at the end of the trial.

The city council will – as it always planned to – assess all the information that has been collected during the 12 months, to take a view on the effectiveness of the scheme. Both councils will then work together, as agreed by the council leaders, to design and implement a permanent scheme later in the year.

Leader of Canterbury City Council, Cllr John Gilbey, said:

“It is fair to say the trial has divided the city and people on both sides of the argument raise many valid points in making their case. But I want to stress that it is our belief that the trial has been the right thing to do and that it should have been given more time for assessment. So we would have liked to have seen the layout remain as it is after March while all the data from the trial is analysed.

This would have been more cost effective and caused the least confusion for motorists, so in these respects today’s news is disappointing. But at least with the trial continuing for the full year, we will have a complete set of data to analyse. We will then spend time assessing the results, including traffic flows, air quality monitoring and all the views we received during the public consultation.

We all know that Canterbury’s traffic problems are complicated but we are committed to working with the county council to tackle these, lower pollution, ease traffic flows and find a permanent solution at the Westgate Towers and in St Dunstan’s.”

CCC 16 January 2013

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