Ac­tion needed now to halt ac­ci­dents

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Waste Collection Latest -

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

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