Work begins to upgrade Best Lane, Orange Street and The Friars

A £600,000 project set to improve footfall for Canterbury traders has started.

The scheme will see pavements upgraded with high quality sawn yorkstone and roads will be resurfaced with a similar material to the King’s Mile and Northgate.

Street lighting will also be refurbished during the 26 week project, funded by an increase in parking charges.

Leila Applby owns The Living Lounge in Canterbury and she thinks the council could have done more, she said: “During the consultations we talked about widening the pavements, whether we would do it on both sides and whether we would have planting to make it a much more attractive place.

“Unfortunately they have [Canterbury City Council] decided just to do a resurfacing and to stop the pedestrianisation just beyond The Marlow Theatre.”

Orange Street, Best Lane & The Friars upgrade

Uploaded by The Canterbury Hub on 2018-05-18.

The work is part of the council’s city centre transformation package to improve pedestrian areas.

Rachel Sanders is a franchisee of BoConcept in Canterbury, she said: “The footfall here is actually quite low, we find people come to us as a destination so what we really want to encourage is natural footfall.

“I think anything they do out there is going to help that because it’s really quite quiet, but crikey is we could just tidy it up a bit I think we will probably see a 20% increase in traffic.”

Canterbury City Council

A spokesperson for Canterbury City Council said: “We carried out a comprehensive consultation process and the views of all those who responded were considered and debated at a number of public meetings before councillors agreed on the final design.

“we believe we have achieved a good balance”

“This area contains a mixture of residential properties and businesses. It is fair to say the vision for the streets differed considerably between these two groups.

“As a council it is our job to consider the views of all users and we believe we have achieved a good balance by widening footways in the Friars where there is more space and less traffic and by removing the kerb in Best Lane to create more useable space.

“Orange Street has a different character with more deliveries and through traffic. Retaining a low kerb and keeping the road width the same was considered the most appropriate solution.”