Action needed now to halt accidents
There was, sadly, yet another serious road traffic collision at the junction of the A20 and Sandyhurst Lane (Potters Corner) on July 10.
Our thoughts are with the those who have been seriously injured, both in the most recent accident and on previous occasions.
Sandyhurst Lane Residents’ Association has, for the past two years, been campaigning for road safety measures to be improved at this junction, which has a bad accident record.
At present, the speed limit on the A20 at this point is 70 mph, as it is a dual carriageway. The junction is an uncontrolled crossroads used by a large number of vehicles and cyclists.
Pedestrians also cross the A20 at this point to reach the bus stop on the opposite side of the road. There is no pedestrian crossing provided. The dual carriageway of the A20 narrows to a single carriageway shortly after Potters Corner, travelling in the direction of Maidstone.
Cars travelling out of Ashford, on leaving the Orchard Heights roundabout, have their first opportunity to overtake at high speed on the 70mph dual carriageway, travelling towards Potters Corner, and there is a tendency for drivers to race hard through Potters Corner in order to overtake before the road narrows.
At the same time, traffic turning right into Sandyhurst Lane or the Hare and Hounds public house, or left into Godinton Lane, is slowing down on approaching Potters Corner.
Traffic turning right out of Sandyhurst Lane or the pub has to cross one 70mph carriageway and join another without any slip road.
Not surprisingly, there have been numerous road traffic accidents at this junction and, in the last four years, at least three of these have resulted in serious injuries.
We initially tried to persuade KCC to extend the existing 40mph limit on the A20 to include Potters Corner.
KCC did not agree to this proposal, but did concede that the accident record was sufficiently bad that new road safety measures should be introduced and have proposed a scheme to install new static and ‘flashing’ signage on the A20 approaches to the junction.
We were originally told that this scheme would be installed in 2012/13. This did not happen and we were then promised that consultation on the proposed scheme would take place “as early as practicable” in the new financial year (2013/14). We are now over a quarter of the way through that financial year and still there is no sign of the proposals being brought forward.
The recent serious accident highlights the need for urgent action to be taken. Furthermore, we regard the new measures proposed by KCC as a ‘stop gap’ and remain of the view that a further measures are required to improve road safety at this notorious junction. David Porter, secretary Sandyhurst Lane Residents’ Association