Inadequate proposals for crossing The Mall

KCC’s proposals for a “build out” on The Mall are inadequate. They’re in the wrong place and they’re insufficient to address the real demand for improved road safety in this part of Faversham.

On a daily basis, hundreds of Abbey School students and local residents risk their lives to cross the road as they move between the railway station/town centre and the London Road.

Their principal “desire line” runs north-south along the western footway of The Mall, passing over Forbes Road as it swings into The Mall. Go and see it yourself at 08.30 on a school day but be prepared for a shock. You’ll see schoolchildren racing to cross in the brief gaps between vehicles that swoop through.

An alternative approach is urgently needed. Fortunately, I believe one is possible: a crossing over Forbes Road on the principal desire line.

This crossing would be part of a raised “table” so that pedestrians would cross at grade and vehicles would have to slow to gently ramp up a few centimetres.

The precedent for this approach already exists in Faversham at the Court Street zebra crossing.

I looked at this as part of a report I put together in 2017 on pedestrian crossing improvements across Faversham. Transport planners may apply “old school” thinking to say that this approach doesn’t work. But then how does the crossing at Court Street work?

The JTB is meeting on 9th September at 5.30pm to consider the proposals (see p25 of this report). It should reject them and urge KCC to take a fresh approach, one that draws on the successful experience of transport planners and urban designers elsewhere in the UK and raises the quality of pedestrian facilities for the residents, and especially the schoolchildren, of Faversham.

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