In thinking of replacing the pedestrian-friendly zebra crossing on Crescent Road with a signal-controlled crossing, the risk is that we end up designing the town for the minority of times when there is congestion rather than the majority of time when there isn’t. It’s the same argument at the Ashford Road/A2 junction. We need more sophisticated solutions than are being thought about. And we need to promote walking and cycling first, before we promote driving. This is national policy after all.
Why should someone have to walk up to a crossing, press a button, wait for the lights to change and then be permitted to cross the road – especially when the road is empty? That is an insult to pedestrians. And of course what happens is that people don’t wait – they cross on a red pedestrian signal. And then we get equally mad about the situation.
I – and many others – believe the solution is not to wrap ourselves in the municipal infrastructure of traffic lights but to improve the culture of walking, cycling and driving. Introducing a 20mph limit across the town will be a key move in taming driver aggression and encouraging the convivial friendliness on which Faversham thrives. Drivers blame enthusiastic younger people just as they blame hesitant older people, venting frustration as they sit in four-wheeled comfort. They should remember that they too were young once just as they will, most likely, be old and faltering one day soon.