St Dunstan’s Street, Canterbury - Emergency Active Travel scheme

The St Dunstan’s Street, Canterbury Emergency Active Travel trial scheme aims to make this busy street in Canterbury a safer environment for cyclists.

We have carried out an experimental widening of the south western footpath between the zebra crossing by Sainsbury’s Local and the North Lane mini roundabout to give pedestrians more space to pass in this busy area, and at the bus stop outside Curtain Call.

We have experimentally closed the end of Kirby’s Lane at the junction with St Dunstan’s Street to motor vehicles, turning it into a cul-de-sac.

Parking bays have also been removed outside the new multi-storey car park in Station Road West to provide an additional bus stop to improve the interchange with rail services. The loading bay will stay as this is needed by local businesses.

To encourage walking along Station Road West, we are installing a parklet, which will have planting and seating in place of some of current parking bays.

We have also resurfaced and renewed the road lines on St Dunstan’s Street between the level crossing and the Westgate Towers junction as part of our A290 highway scheme.

View the A290 St Dunstans Street Canterbury scheme plan (PDF, 491.2 KB).

The changes are part of the schemes funded under the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, which are designed to:

  • enable more people to walk and cycle
  • give people more space so that they can socially distance and feel more confident and safer when out and about
  • provide a greener street scene, with more plants and trees to help to improve air quality.

The trial in St Dunstan’s Street also aims to provide a safer and friendlier shopping, eating and drinking experience for pedestrians. We hope to encourage active travel to and from the West Station and the High Street.

It is a trial and we are closely monitoring the impacts and success of the scheme. You can find out how we do this in the have your say section.

The scheme was implemented in September 2020.

We have listened to feedback from local residents and businesses and this has informed some specific aspects of the design during its implementation. These include:

  • maintaining sufficient road width for 2 large vehicles such as buses or delivery trucks to pass each other safely and without risk of them clipping their wing mirrors
  • monitoring the situation with Stagecoach at the narrowest part of the footpath outside Café Des Amis, to make sure there is enough space for buses turning right from North Lane and for social distancing
  • creating more space at the bus stop outside Curtain Call on St Dunstan’s Street, which is very busy and social distancing was previously difficult
  • plans for making signage clearer by using existing sign posts to place the No Through Road sign on the entry to Kirby’s Lane (all other signs are already in place)
  • many of the changes to signage and bollards have been designed to be in keeping with the existing street furniture in Canterbury. If the scheme is made permanent, then we will replace temporary materials, such the plastic bollards used to mark the widened footway, with material that matches what is used elsewhere in the town.

Below are some of the main concerns that have been raised by members of the public, and our responses:

ConcernHow we responded

Blocking off access at one end of Kirby’s Lane with non-retractable bollards will mean refuse collections, street sweepers and emergency services (in fact any wheeled vehicle) cannot easily access the narrow part of the lane.

We have responded to people that have contacted us that the request for the closure of the lane came from Canterbury City Council who operate the refuse collection and street sweeping services and will have made suitable arrangements. Cycles are still permitted but motorcycles are prohibited. Access is still available from the other end of Kirby’s Lane and emergency services would access in the same way they would with any other cul-de-sac.

Kirby’s Lane will become a magnet for those wishing to deliver, unload or pay a quick visit to St Dunstan’s Street, encouraging people to misuse the area and so will need policing of the double yellow lines in the surrounding area.We have passed on these concerns around enforcement to Canterbury City Council.
Businesses are leaving out their waste bins permanently, making access difficult for pedestrians (especially if they have disabilities or have young children).We have passed these concerns to the enforcement team at Canterbury City Council.
The safety and cleanliness of the environment on Kirby’s Lane needs addressing to make this area pedestrian-friendly.We have passed this feedback to Canterbury City Council to address.
The bend in Kirby’s Lane near to Station Road West and a request for centre lines to be painted.Unfortunately, we cannot put lines here as the road width is too narrow and doesn’t meet the Department for Transport’s criteria for a centre line.
Increased traffic congestion in the area.We have kept two-way traffic along St Dunstan’s Street but are monitoring traffic flows in response, and are considering using cameras to assist this.

We will be assessing the effectiveness of the trial during December 2020.

We will be using data and feedback gathered in the following ways to assess the effectiveness and impacts of each scheme:

  • using Vivacity System cameras on different parts of the road or street to observe what works well and where there are any issues that need to be fixed
  • by conducting public opinion attitudinal surveys, where a member of our staff will visit each site to get face-to-face feedback from the local community and provide questionnaires to get a wide range of views about the scheme
  • listening to customer feedback to understand how the schemes are affecting residents submitted on our website, on our social media channels and by email activetravelfund@kent.gov.uk.

Next steps

We will use this data and feedback in our review of the effectiveness of the scheme in December 2020 to help us determine whether or not to implement the trial permanently.

Funded by

This scheme is being funded by the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.