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Faversham: Bank Street still a danger 17 years after death of toddler

By Bess Browning

A road where a toddler was crushed to death in her pushchair is still another “accident waiting to happen” – 17 years after the tragedy.

In January 2000, a two-year-old was hit in Bank Street outside the former Carlisle chemist when a lorry reversed on to the pavement while carrying out a three-point turn.

This week, concerns have been raised that nothing has been done to make the road safer and HGVs continue to manoeuvre there.

Brian Head is concerned that despite a child being killed when a van was turning in the road here 17 years ago, nothing has been done to make the road safer.

Brian Head is concerned that despite a child being killed when a van was turning in the road here 17 years ago, nothing has been done to make the road safer.

Brian Head, of Stone Street, made a plea to town councillors on Monday to do something about it.

He said: “I do not understand why nothing has been done about this road. I see lorries doing the same thing that the lorry did on that tragic day all of the time.

“If we could put some bollards in then it would stop vehicles turning in that way.

“I see this as an accident waiting to happen, and someone needs to do something about it.

“I don’t know whether it is the town, borough or county council responsible, but we need to find out who is responsible so something can be done.”

Flowers left in Bank Street to mark the seventh anniversary of the death of Lucy Grossmith, two.

Flowers left in Bank Street to mark the seventh anniversary of the death of Lucy Grossmith, two.

The child was initially taken to Faversham Cottage Hospital opposite and then to Kent and Canterbury Hospital but died from her injuries.

Her mother, who lived in Broadstairs, was visiting relatives in Faversham when the accident happened.

In 2001, lorry driver Adrian McGilvery, from Rainham, was jailed for six years after he was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving at Maidstone Crown Court.

He was reportedly in a rage after a confrontation with another driver when he carried out the fatal three-point turn.

His sentence was later cut to five years.

On Monday, councillors discussed whether they could take action to prevent any more accidents.

Cllr Nick Green said: “I had never heard about this tragic event. The fact that it has been highlighted now, I’m mystified that nothing has ever been done.

“If we just need to put bollards in to make this road safer, let’s do it.”

Cllr Nick Green said he was mystified that nothing had been done.

Cllr Nick Green said he was mystified that nothing had been done.

Cllr Ted Wilcox said: “It is something that we can ask Kent County Council for. But, what will happen, I’m sure, is that they will look at the accident reports for the last five years and they won’t put any funding towards it.

“As part of the town council’s Public Realm Group we are improving certain areas of the town as much as possible so we will see if we can do anything ourselves.

Cllr Ted Wilcox.

Cllr Ted Wilcox.

“We do have this problem with large lorries coming into town when they shouldn’t be.

“We are already looking at possibly having 20mph speed limits in the town and maybe, as well as the speed restriction, we should be looking at weight restrictions too.”

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