Monday, March 30, 2009

Trucking Hell

Pootling around the port here in the Cannes of Kent yesterday, I was confronted with the above vista. A gazillion foreign lorries illegally parked up on the Western Undercliff. Unfortunately my Box Brownie couldn't quite capture the rivulets of something or other that were dribbling across the road, but you get the picture.

What the millions of car and coach passengers that will be arriving to take advantage of our putative fast ferry service will make of this introduction to Ramsgate, lord knows. I seem to recall our beloved council was 'monitoring' the situation. For 'monitoring' read: 'sweeping under one of Sandy's numerous carpets'.

Last week my millionaire mate Roger had his Bentley bumped from behind by a Bulgarian bloke on the A256. He called the rozzers. Not interested, talk to your insurance company. A few days later the insurance Johnnies call, the trucker concerned was uninsured for the UK. Nothing they can do. Surely in a constituency that used to boast the Minister of Transport as its MP (before he retired to the back benches viz: consultancy work), something could be done about these rogue truckers? The excuse that they're foreign, and therefore somehow above and beyond our road traffic laws, is beginning to wear extremely thin. A bit like the grass down on the Western Undercliff!

17 comments:

Peter Checksfield said...

Rather than repeat myself, read my comments (& the comments of others) here:

http://thanetobserver.blogspot.com/2009/03/i-wish-to-report-crime.html

Eastcliff Richard said...

Rather than pull people off to another blog that's clearly as incensed as I am about the situation and, er, got to the story first, I've repeated those comments here:

er, no. Having complained about dodging lorry drivers turds on the beach, as well as providing TDC with photos for 5 weekends on the bounce, was told Blah blah blah, cannot have anyone there all the time, blah blah blah.

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some strategically placed bollards, and hey presto - all would be sorted. but that joined up thinking, something our council are incapable of.

The answer is obvious: because they don't want to drive business away! But I agree that something needs to be done (surely with a little work the old Hoverport at Pegwell Bay would make a perfect lorry park?).

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Yes, Peter, that would make the ideal staging area, theres obviuosly the chance to put facilities there as drainage was there for the Hoverport building. Hot dog stands etc.

To me it's the principle, park your Mini on a double yellow in town and the SWAT team decends on you...park a big rig taking up 4 designated car spaces in a tourist area and sweet FA happens.

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Who is the Local Councillor for the Westcliff area ?, has he/she got a website/blog that i can view and pass on my request to report a crime ?
As Mr SMEG says this is a daily/weekly occurance, it should be a local councillors duty to get something done.

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This matter has been a long running sore which the Authorities appear to have no will to resolve. I am sure that if this situation occurred on the other side of the Channel, this would not be tolerated. The Thanet District Councillors for the area area John Kirby and Jo Gideon who I believe are both Cabinet members. Over to them!

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Pursue this Mr Observer, & keep us posted with your progress...

Have you contacted the local press? Your Thanet in particular may be interested.


What are TDC going to do about this? Nothing, probably!

To add my two pennorth, if there's no room in the onsite lorry park for these truckers, what on earth are TDC doing flogging off land on the port to developers when there is clearly a serious need to expand the existing lorry facilities?

Or are they happy to turn a blind eye to this situation as by doing so they can make some dosh by selling our assets?

Peter Checksfield said...

Well at least the local journalists are more likely to read about it on here...how about it Thom / Tom?

I still think that the old Hoverport is probably the best solution...

Anonymous said...

Surely a man of your standing knows someone who knows someone who would pursue this story ?

Thanet Observer said...

Blimey, I got to find something before Eastcliff Richard did !

Totally spoiled what was meant to be a nice long walk along the clifftop of Ramsgate sea front.

And judging by one of the comments left on my blog the lorry drivers are using the beach as their personal sewer.
Nice for the possible Summer vistors if they stray that far along the front!

Anonymous said...

You wont see anyone handing out fines or parking tickets this council only does this to people they know will pay.

Stop Manston Expansion Group said...

I know where 2,752 metres of tarmac exists, underused, close to the port and its owners could do with the cash

John Kirby said...

As most people know who use the Westcliff this problem has been going on for over three years - and has been highlighted over this period by myself on many occasions - as can be seen from the stories in the Gazette.Bollards have been considered - but it needs a joint exercise between the Police KCC and TDC to sort this out - to hit the problem when it occurs bewtween late Friday and Monday morning - but there does not seem the will to do it - the port area allows parking for up to 14 hours over the weekend - but this is obviously not long enough - I am hoping to get this sorted out prior to the summer season - but my efforts in the past have been very high profile - and will continue to ber John Kirby

Linda said...

Having a few hours to spare on Sunday, suggested we parked down on the Westcliff and had a walk along the front. Well we were confronted by the wall to wall truck park...... Surely some of this area could be left for locals to use. I suppose the parking like most places is controlled by the Council, who of course wouldn't dream of working on a Sunday!!! I am hoping that they sort this out BEFORE visitors might arrive for a day at the seaside. I know it isn't a very good beach there, but at least the parking is free.

Linda said...

Having a few hours to spare on Sunday, suggested we parked down on the Westcliff and had a walk along the front. Well we were confronted by the wall to wall truck park...... Surely some of this area could be left for locals to use. I suppose the parking like most places is controlled by the Council, who of course wouldn't dream of working on a Sunday!!! I am hoping that they sort this out BEFORE visitors might arrive for a day at the seaside. I know it isn't a very good beach there, but at least the parking is free.

Anonymous said...

yes,the port does allow FREE praking for 14 hours, after that its £10 for 24 hours, but if you consider that both parking areas can only hold about 100 truks and TEF has a maximum schedual of 10 sailings per day averaging 40 trucks on each, you can kind of see the down fall of parking spaces. Just another piece of good news for you folks if the EuroDreamer ferry makes an appearance in the Millionaires' Playground then ALL parking will dissapear and the truckers will be parking on the east and westcliff parades free of charge, how do you all feel about that old chaps??

Anonymous said...

Of course the answer to this is to fly in & out more freight via Manston instead of shipping it over in trucks.

Anonymous said...

Went to look this morning but of ALL THE LORRIES HAD VANISHED!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4.31 This could be the answer to all Thanet's prayers!. Large parts of Thanet could just vanish. Manston and Thanet Earth may be bit ofa challenge for even the best illusionist.

Eastcliff Richard said...

David Copperfield could do it. And there's a Boredstares connection!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Meanwhile, the intrepid Tom Betts from yourfannitinnit is on the case, he's written to all the authorities thus:

Good morning…

Forgive me for sending this to a few of you, but I thought best to cover all bases and between you we should be able to clear this up.

If this does not concern you please ignore, but it surely must be one of your organizations remit to control or police this problem…

Can you tell me why lorries at the Port of Ramsgate are still being allowed to park illegally on the Western Undercliff?

This is a problem that has been going on for some time and as far as I can work out shows no signs of going away…

Lorries are always being left there, and as I understand it it’s against the law for them to do so.

Why do lorries park there?

Does it happen more when the port is busy?

Can you tell me outright; is it illegal to park there and what laws are being broken?

Why are you ignoring this?

If I park somewhere illegally I expect to get a ticket or have my car clamped or impounded - so what sanctions and punishments are being handed out to these lorry drivers?

What steps will be taken to resolve this problem and when are they going to be implemented?

Do the lorries pose any kind of safety risk?

What if there was some kind of incident (not unheard of at ports) and the emergency services cannot get sufficient access?

The lorries are being parked right in front of signs that say cars and motorbikes only – so there is no real excuse is there?

I will be following this up for next week’s paper, and have plenty of pics of this (one attached), so would appreciate some answers by Friday if possible.

Best,

Tom Betts
Reporter, YourThanet (a KOS Media publication)


Good on yer, Tom! I'm glad to see that at least one of the local papers is on the case. I look forward to reading their excuses next Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

Please not the old hoverport, that is slap bang in the middle of a nature reserve, use Manston plenty of room there.

Mick