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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Red fluorescent 20mph road markings ‘way too much’, residents say

Red fluorescent 20mph road markings in a Kent town have prompted a series of complaints from residents who say they spoil the area.

The paintwork has been laid down at nine junctions across Herne Bay to warn motorists they are entering a 20mph zone.

Highways bosses insist the colour is “appropriate to provide a contrast” for approaching drivers.

However those who live nearby are unimpressed.

John Sheering, a retired policeman who lives next to one of the newly painted sections, recounted seeing workmen starting to paint the roads in the middle of the night.

“My dog alerted me, it was like a spaceship had landed. I looked out of the window to see what the commotion was and thought it was just normal roadworks.

“The road markings are way too much, they look awful too. Surely the simple 20mph roundel would have sufficed,” he said.

Sue Perry, another resident, called the markings “hideous”.

She said: “They are lurid, over the top and spoil the area.

“We had no warning and it’s just a waste of money.”

James Wightman, who runs Herne Bay Motorcycles in The Broadway, said: “The crazy thing is that they even painted over a pothole, perhaps they should tackle them first.”

The idea for a 20mph zone in the town was first announced in 2021, with the project given the green light following a public consultation in 2022.

All of the projects have been funded through an Active Travel Government grant in an attempt to encourage walking and cycling, with the 20mph zone expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Dan Watkins, a Herne Bay city and county councillor who was instrumental in bringing the 20mph zone to the town, admitted the colour was “a little garish” and that concerns had been raised with him directly.

But he added: “I have been reassured by our highway engineers that it will mellow over time, and that has been the experience in other locations.

“But perhaps it is good to be bright at the start so it gets the message across and everyone is aware.

“There were 66 recorded road accidents in the area now covered by the 20mph zone in the last five years, and that is what we need to reduce.”

Kent County Council, which is installing the scheme, said nine “red entrance patches” had been painted across Herne Bay as part of the new 20pmh zone, with white “20” markings set to be added when the weather allows.

A spokesman added: “The markings provide a clear indication to drivers that they are entering the new speed restriction area.

“The colour is considered most appropriate to provide a contrast, therefore highlighting the boundary and encourage self-enforcement.

“The total cost of the entrance boundaries is in the region of £14,000 and was paid for through government funding provided as part of KCC’s Active Travel scheme bid.”

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