TV's Big Brother voices fears of Towers' traffic
BIG Brother narrator Marcus Bentley has voiced concerns about pedestrian safety in Canterbury, following the introduction of the controversial traffic scheme.
The well-known voiceover artist – who lives in Station Road West with his wife Julie and three children – has thrown his weight behind increasing calls for pedestrian crossings to be re-installed in the city centre.
Mr Bentley, 44, who owns the country's most recognisable voice, according to a poll, accused Canterbury City Council of "arrogance" in removing the crossings. He labelled the 12-month trial "an embarrassment for local politics".
He said: "I'm absolutely livid. Station Road West is a fairly busy road anyway, but now the traffic just backs up outside my house. My wife's been very tearful about it. It's ruining the quality of our lives.
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"I'm very proud to live in Canterbury. It's beautiful. But it's a small city which has been allowed to branch out and there's no infrastructure to support it.
"I can't believe the council's arrogance in taking the crossings out. Thousands of students come into Canterbury on the train daily, but there's no crossings to help them get into the city."
Mr Bentley also criticised the decision to ban all traffic from the Westgate Towers, and urged the authority to admit defeat and abandon the scheme altogether.
He continued: "The Towers do need preserving, but all the council needed to do was ban buses and lorries from using it. To take away one of the arterial routes from this popular city is absolutely idiotic.
"It's good they have tried it, but I would greatly admire them if they admitted it's not working and packed it in. It's an embarrassment to local politics."
Last week council transport boss Richard Moore admitted there had been "a lot of concerns raised about pedestrian safety" since the scheme was introduced on March 27, but he insisted the majority were adapting well.
He said: "I know some people like to have the facility where they press a button and wait to cross, but the scheme is about removing traffic and letting people cross where they want to."
Meanwhile, a video posted on YouTube showing a bus struggling to pass the Westgate Towers has attracted more than 4,000 views.