In the 1800s, Canterbury was the centre of the universe for public infrastructure, with the world’s first regular steam passenger train, the Crab & Winkle. So how is it that this great city has been cast aside in the battle for resources today?
Last weekend, I had to call an ambulance to the scene of an accident in Whitstable. At 9pm on a Saturday night there were none. It turned up an hour later. We then drove for another hour to Ashford. When we arrived, the hospital was bedlam with 30 ambulances bringing in patients in the space of about an hour. The medics were completely overrun. Despite a serious incident involving a head injury and concussion, we were made to sit in the waiting room six long hours to be seen, with no beds available or even a trolley to make the wait more comfortable. My concussed patient, (told not to move by the ambulance, was shuffled from scans to nurses etc all on his feet whilst bleeding from a head wound.)
But it’s not just the health service. Call the police and you’re through to an operator in Maidstone. It takes triple the time to explain an incident when the person you’re speaking to has no knowledge of the area, (Whitstable Alleyways !)
Our shops in Canterbury are fast disappearing, replaced with a multitude of cafés. Yet the council seems to feel no obligation to address this. One member told me: we must be doing something right as the cafes are all full. It isn’t the point. A city thrives on a variety of retail outlets.
I took the park-and-ride recently and was horrified at the jump in fares to £3, I visit Canterbury twice a week on average & my parking costs me approximately £14 a week, at £56 a month that’s an expense I’ll need to cut.
The population of Canterbury and the surrounding area isn’t getting any smaller. In fact, more housing is going up all the time along with the universities expanding, 3 private schools, 2 Grammars, Herne Bay High, & lots of primary schools and growing numbers of commuters.
So I’m wondering, who is fighting Canterbury’s corner? Anyone?