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Drivers flouting road closures could cause fatality, warn Higham villagers

By Chris Hunter

Rogue drivers flouting temporary one-way restrictions could lead to a death in the village, fear villagers.

New traffic controls have been in place at the junction of School Land, Forge Lane, Villa Road and Hermitage Road in Higham, but residents say many drivers are ignoring the restrictions to take a short cut.

Among them is Richard Frater who has written to Gravesham Council to warn the situation is dangerous for drivers and pedestrians and has already led to stand-off situations and confrontations.

Stock picture.
Stock picture.

“It is something that requires addressing urgent as there is a potential for a fatality,” he said. “I travel up from home to the A2 on a daily basis. Since the roadworks have started, every day, when negotiating the diversion along Hermitage Road, I have been confronted by vehicles either already coming towards me or waiting to turn in against the clearly displayed no entry sign from Forge Lane or across the no right turn in Villa road. On every occasion, when I have been confronted by another car they have expected me to reverse into a space or out of their way. I will never do this, as they are breaking the law.”

And he added: “If a person walking away from them was deaf they would not hear the cars coming and could easily be struck and in the worst case killed. There is also a potential for the oncoming drivers to become aggressive, this would be a serious problem for one of the many more elderly residents in the area this could also escalate into someone being attacked and injured.”

He suggested installing temporary traffic lights at each end of one way section currently enforced in Hermitage Road, and no entry signs in Villa Road.

“I’ve had no response from Gravesham Council at all,” he told the Messenger. “If something was to happen with at least you can say it has been highlighted.

“All the old age pensioners go there for their morning chat. These people just turn in and drive towards people who aren’t expecting them.”

A spokesman for SGN said: "In conjunction with Gravesham Council we put in place a road closure in School Lane, Higham on July 24 and set up diversion routes. Following reports of motorists using the no entry onto Hermitage Road, we put in place larger no entry signs.

The road closure was replaced by two-way temporary traffic lights on Monday August 14, and work was due to be completed on Monday afternoon, September 4.

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