top of page

Climate restrictions & the rise of 15-minute cities: Is Canterbury a blueprint for your city?


Canterbury’s council bosses have drawn up a radical plan to tackle congestion that will split the city into five zones and ban residents from driving directly between them.

During the Middle Ages, Canterbury, a Cathedral City in southeast England, was a pilgrimage site. With cobbled streets and timber-framed houses, ancient Roman walls encircle its medieval centre. It has a population of 43432.

In Canterbury’s ‘Local Plan to 2045’, the council proposes splitting the city into five districts, with drivers unable to cross between districts by private car – even if they live there.

Within the document is the idea of 15 minute neighbourhoods:

For example –

“Community infrastructure provided as part of upcoming developments should be accessible to new and existing residents – preferably within 15 minutes walking time and always within 15 minutes.”

– They say this is about ’living locally’.

Those who break the rules will face fines (possibly the same as Oxford’s £70) enforced by number-plate recognition cameras and won’t be able to make simple journeys around the city.

According to Page 14 of the draft Canterbury District Local Plan to 2045 – there will be “Implementation of an ANPR-based sectoring system and modal filters to limit cross-city trips.”

They will instead have to drive out of their ‘neighbourhood’ and onto a new bypass – essentially a much larger outer ring-road – before re-entering their chosen zone. Short, direct journeys across the city – like to supermarkets, retail parks or GP surgeries – will be banned to encourage residents to walk, cycle or use public transportation.

Ben Fitter-Harding Conservative leader of Canterbury City Council, an advocate for sustainable development who has worked on the Canterbury Circulation Plan for two years, is confident the major road network transformation will turn out well.

He said:

“For residents within the five zones, they can access the facilities within their neighbourhood by car if they need to. But if you want to travel to a different neighbourhood, the most convenient way to do that will be by walking, cycling or using public transport.”

“It would likely be a frictionless system, so there would be cameras.”

“We will fine people who decide ‘I’m planning to drive across the city, I don’t care’.

“If you drive between neighbourhoods you will receive a fine.”

He continued: “The amenities and services that you would need are all in your neighbourhood. You wouldn’t have all the rat running, so it’d be fantastic if we could achieve it.”

He also said: “In 20 years time, you’re likely going to have your groceries delivered, or you’re planning to go to a different supermarket or a new local shop in your own neighbourhood.”

However, Lib Dem councillor Nick Eden-Green says the scheme raises some “serious questions”. “When I visit friends I don’t consider which zone they are living in. It’s “frankly ridiculous – you’re creating ghettos where people are locked in and can’t travel elsewhere.”

It gets even more difficult for outsiders too: Visitors from other Kent districts and boroughs, or tourists, can’t park within the city walls. As a result, most parking lots will be made redundant. Tourists and visitors can park in one of four zones around the city centre. From each zone, visitors will be able to ride the park and ride into the city.

This is all being done outside the normal democratic process, for instance in Oxford where similar plans are afoot. Traffic filters will divide the city into “15-minute” neighbourhoods.

Duncan Enright, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for travel and development strategy, said the filters would turn Oxford into “a 15-minute city” with local services within a small walking radius.

Mr Enright said: “It is about making sure you have the community centre which has all of those essential needs, the bottle of milk, pharmacy, GP, schools which you need to have a 15-minute neighbourhood.”

He insisted the controversial plans would move ahead whether people liked it or not.

And it’s the same story in London. TfL consulted thousands of people who overwhelmingly said no to the ULEZ expansion. 60% of respondents opposed the expansion, but it’s going forward anyway.

In London, surveillance technology is expanding to control our car trips. London’s ULEZ zones will be expanded to cover most, if not all, of the city. This means you will have to pay £12.50 a day for the privilege of getting into your car, no matter how short or long the trip is. There will be a 200 million pound ANPR camera network to fine drivers when they do.

The plans for Canterbury seem to be derived from a plan which was proposed in 2020 labelled “The 15-minute city” and is part of the overall Net Zero 2030 agenda.

Under the plan described by Councillor Val Kenny: “The Covid-19 crisis has torn a hole in city budgets decimating urban economies” and thus to build back better they recommended: That “all residents will live in 15 minute cities.”

The decentralisation of services has become known as the 15-minute city. This is where you can do your job, get to school, see your doctor and be entertained all within a 15-minute radius of where you live. Promoting active travel and reducing car use are key to achieving the 15-minute vision.

Also, from the 2021 Canterbury Climate Action Partnership document under the section sustainable transport – it states the following: To “Encourage CCC to set up a low emissions zone(s) and tackle air quality hotspots; ensure that all council vehicles are ultra-low emission/electric by 2030;”

This plan is the same as London’s for the establishment of low-emission zones.

Nigel Farage has called out the Canterbury plans, claiming “climate change lockdowns are coming.”

This is the teaser guys… give you a zone, penalise you in to staying there.

15 min cities: no travel, WFH, no cars, no meat, controlled digital currency.

If this is abhorrent: stand up!

Canterbury traffic zones ‘like postwar Berlin without the wall’

2 views0 comments
bottom of page