At the moment, Margate seafront is a pretty hostile and uninspiring environment for pedestrians. The public space is dominated by a wide road that forms a barrier between businesses and the beach. This is the route visitors walk along from the station to the old town and the Turner Contemporary.
KCC proposed reducing the traffic on Margate Seafront to create a pedestrian friendly environment between town and beach. The proposal was drawn up by a large the consultant firm, Jacobs following public consultation and in line with the “Margate 10 year Cultural Development Plan and the Arlington planning brief”
From “Margate Cultural Vision 10 Year Plan 2008”:
“Margate is a place with stunning, inspirational public realm that has creativity, innovation and inspiring art at its heart. The process of achieving this will also be innovative and inclusive and will restore a pride and sense of ownership within the local community. Margate will set the bar for other public realm interventions across the South East and beyond.”
If the proposal for a Tesco superstore the size of 2 football pitches goes ahead, there will be a peak of 17,000 extra vehicle movements on the seafront on weekends. That is in addition to any traffic for Dreamland and Turner Contemporary.
Even without Tesco and Dreamland, if no improvements are made for pedestrians, Highways predicts:
In 2015 in the Friday pm peak hour the Marine Drive and Marine Gardens approaches to the roundabout are predicted to operate over capacity without the proposed development, with estimated queues of 13 vehicles and 28 vehicles respectively. The addition of development traffic is predicted to extend the queues on these approaches to 27 vehicles and 59 vehicles respectively, with the queue on Marine Gardens potentially reaching back to Cecil Square. “