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Press Release: 04.04.09

4th April 2009

Health centre traffic hazard highlighted


Local Conservatives used the visit by a shadow health minister to highlight once again the difficulty faced by pedestrians who try to cross the road to reach the new Sheerness Health Centre.


The health centre, which has parking for only disabled patients, and is located on one of the busiest roads in the town, has provoked complaints from residents, patients and motorists since opening.


Concerns about the Health Centre’s location were raised as early ago as September 2008 when the Conservative candidate at the Sheerness East by-election, Martin Goodhew, pointed out that the lack of car parking and a pedestrian crossing would make the road dangerous.  


Earlier this year a petition was raised by local residents and presented to local MP, Derek Wyatt, but no action has yet been taken to improve the situation.


Now the fight for action has been widened with Parliamentary Candidate, Gordon Henderson, and local Tory KCC spokesman, Cllr Ken Pugh, adding their voices to calls for a crossing.


Recently Cllr Pugh and Mr Henderson lobbied KCC transport chief, Keith Ferrin, and to further highlight the issue Mr Henderson this week took shadow health minister, Mark Simmonds MP, to visit the health centre.


Mr Henderson said:


‘My own GP has moved to the new health centre, so I am well aware of the problems faced by both motorists and pedestrians because I face the same problems myself.


‘Quite frankly I am amazed that planners allowed the Eastern and Coastal Kent Health Trust to open the health centre without providing any parking whatsoever for patients. It was inevitable that motorists would park outside the centre, despite there being a yellow line and this just increases an already dangerous road.


‘It should also have been made a condition for locating the centre in this very busy stretch of the High Street that a pedestrian crossing was installed first.  


‘The irony is that the original location for the centre was Wood Street, which would have provided not only far easier access, but also off-street parking. I have no idea why the location was changed but both the Health Trust and planners have some hard questions to answer.’