Sarah Gleave, Green Party KCC candidate in Dover North (which includes Guston), says,
“I entirely agree that guarantees are needed for Guston and for all of us of Dover District who use the roads to, from or past our White Cliffs Retail Park. If I’m elected to KCC, I’ll do my utmost to keep pushing Director of Highways Kent for these guarantees.”
The following letter was sent to press early April by a Dover resident, supporter of Green Party.
“Yes, we have to have a Dover IBF, but we local Dovorians also know the IBF (and the jobs that go with it) would be better located on a safer site than Whitfield Retail Park. Because nobody in East Kent should have their life or livelihood endangered with dodgy London decisions. KCC took over responsibility for the Dover IBF on 18 March 2021, so we need some guarantees from KCC. Hopefully, DfT / KCC have now woken up to, a) how very, very difficult it will be to have freight flowing into the IBF on roads that are closed in order for new dual carriageways to be built; b) how very difficult it will be to have new A2 dual carriageways + road-bridge built before the Dover IBF starts up, ‘in early 2022’. Road closures at the height of our staycation season? No thanks.
Some verbal assurances are being offered to residents round the edges of the site, unwritten promises about reduced number of daily vehicles (500? 600?) and 140metre wide protection zone. But written guarantees are needed. Because nobody knows if the drop in exporting and importing because of new red tape is going to continue, or if freight flow through Dover will pick up again.
Our local Green Party have campaigned since 29 Sept 2020, for East Kent local knowledge to be respected on the siting of the IBF. We’ve highlighted how senior Port of Dover people and Dover Society and parish councils including Deal and St Margarets, Langdon and Guston, have all spoken up about the dangers of the A2 bottleneck, the dangers on the Duke of Yorks roundabout. Relocating the site is / was the better option.
Residents of Dover district and Guston must have guarantees from KCC; to protect students and staff in 2 schools from air pollution, to protect the peace and privacy of homes bordering IBF; to protect the lives of roadusers, to protect Kent County & Dover District public purse so that East Kent does not have to pick up the bill for foolish London mistakes.
The KCC decision (Environment and Transport Committee 18-3-2021) to ‘procure and manage the Inland Border Facility and Border Control Post work in Dover’ is strange,
- given the enormous cuts that Central Govt have made to KCC funding in recent years;
- given that with these 50% cuts to county council, Central govt has a record of turning a deaf ear to KCC requests for money for services it is forced to take on for the nation,
- given that cuts gravely affect how KCC can cope with all the social services needs across the county,
- given the impoverishment that families across Kent are suffering due to pandemic and lockdowns,
- given our needs to put in place serious climate mitigation and adaptation steps to protect communities across Kent, and create GND jobs.
Why didn’t Conservative KCC candidates Nigel Collor and Trevor Bond, who were on the Environment and Transport KCC committee, March 2021, insist on guarantees for Dover?