We’re living in fear of road crashes
I’m writing to you in connection with the article about Cllr Jane Martin (Councillor wants 30mph speed limit on rural roads, KE, January 28) seeking a reduction in the speed limit on rural roads, and the responses published in the Points of View column on February 4, in particular the comments made by Terry Hudson of Whitstable.
I live along the A28 at Bethersden, and my property has been the location of numerous vehicle accidents over the 40 years that it has been owned by my family. The most significant of these was a lifechanging event where my father had both his legs broken by a car from which he is in constant daily pain and undergone operations.
I have attached a photograph of a recent accident where a car crashed into my garden, coming to rest on its side just inside the pedestrian gate – if I (or anyone else) had been there then we would not be alive today! The accidents along this section of the A28 that runs through Bethersden are predominantly non-reportable and so it is the residents who have to deal with the aftermath... we listen out for the accidents, we deal with the drivers and the recovery vehicles, and we spend hours talking to insurance companies to get repairs agreed, we clear up the debris left in our gardens, and then we get abuse from other road users who are held up whilst we are dealing with the accident.
This is just one of the reasons that I campaign for appropriate speed and road safety measures to be implemented along the A28. As well as being a householder, I am a pedestrian, a cyclist, a horse rider and a car driver... so I have experience of the use of this road from many angles.
I would like to invite Mr Hudson to spend a day walking in the shoes of the residents of the A28 at Bethersden, after which he may gain an appreciation of the impact the speeding vehicles have on a parent trying to cross the road with young children, or of an elderly person who cannot walk fast, or just how intimidating it is to walk along a narrow pavement (or along the side of the road where there is no pavement) when an articulated lorry drives past on this narrow stretch of road.
In my capacity as a parish councillor I was part of the Bethersden village working group who campaigned for reduced speed limits on the A28 through the village, and, although I am no longer a parish councillor, I continue to work to achieve improvements along this road for the safety of the residents and road users.
In 2011, rural roads accounted for 66% of all road deaths, and 51% of road deaths occurred on single rural carriageway roads subject to the National Speed Limit of 60mph.
I value life, and want to improve the quality of life for the residents in Bethersden as well as respecting the differing needs of the various road users. Therefore I will continue to campaign for improved road safety for all along this stretch of road, which includes the use of appropriate speed limits. I am not looking forward to dealing with the fatality that will eventually happen at my property. Caroline Buckley Resident of the A28 Ashford Road, Bethersden killed instantly. When the A28 is blocked, our lane is used as a cut through and again this is dangerous for our children who are either walking or riding on their bikes as there are no pathways to walk along, just grass verges, unlike the A28 where there are pathways all the way along it. Shelley Stubblefield High Halden