Why the Sturry Road bus lane just won’t achieve its aims

Sturry Road sees persistent congestion problems

Have a car? Drive in Canterbury? Well, then there’s no way you wont have sat in one of Canterbury’s notorious traffic jams fuming at “the bloody traffic”.

Why’s it always like this? Who are all these people? And more to the point what are they doing driving at the same time as me?

If you’re thinking that, then I’ve got news for you, peeps: so is everyone else.

Insulated from the world outside in a glass and metal box, we convince ourselves that the congestion outside is other’s fault.

People taking their kids to school, people making “unnecessary” journeys – whatever that may be – and even people sitting at home waiting for Tesco to deliver their bogroll and tins of spam.

Then, of course, there’s the old “the council should sort it” line.

Well, the reality is the council does try to ways to reduce congestion and pollution. This has been the case for years now.

It’s just that something called people vehicles on roads always seems to get in the way.

The Westgate Towers traffic trial was a failure

The calamity that was the 2012-13 Westgate Towers traffic trial was just one such effort. Few people liked it.

But the real reason it didn’t work is that it didn’t stop people getting out of their cars. Instead, people kept driving but found their routes around the St Dunstan’s limited by the road lay-out.

Congestion worsened and stationary vehicles pumped ever more emissions into the atmosphere.

The council and the councillors at the time kept up the line that all that was needed was time for the scheme “to bed in”.

People will soon stop using their cars and hop on the buses, we were told – buses being the vehicle around which the scheme was designed.

But it didn’t work and Kent County Council, which runs highways round here, ordered it to be scrapped.

Now, we’re told an extended bus and cycle lane on the Sturry Road for the eastern section of the city would solve its traffic woes.

Well it could if we abandoned our cars in favour of bus or bike. Thing is, most of us won’t.


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