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Ashford Road junction in Kingsnorth needs more improvements, residents say

Anxious residents living close to a junction in Ashford which has been blighted by a series of crashes say planned improvements do not go far enough.

Kent County Council (KCC) is to upgrade the crossroads at Ashford Road, Magpie Hall Road, and Steeds Lane in Kingsnorth following a series of crashes - including three in just over a week late last year.

The junction is covered by a 40mph limit
The junction is covered by a 40mph limit

It was reported last week a man in his 50s, from Sevenoaks, had died following a crash at the crossroads in December.

Just last Thursday, four people were taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford following another crash at the same junction, where a car overturned and landed on the Ashford Cricket Club site.

KCC has recently revealed plans to roll out a road safety scheme, which will involve refreshing road markings to highlight the junction and install additional signs.

But residents living close to the accident blackspot feel this is not enough to prevent future accidents from occurring.

Julian Fisher, landlord at the nearby Queens Head pub, said: “The council is at least doing something about it but it doesn’t appear to be enough to prevent these accidents.

Debris left on the roadside following the accident last week
Debris left on the roadside following the accident last week

“I think if you ask people who live around there and witness these accidents, they don’t think it will be enough.

“There needs to be a roundabout or traffic lights to make people stop.

“I don’t think people stick to the speed limit now; putting new signs up is not going to work.

“There’s a lot of anger in the area and a lot of people are calling for something to be done.”

Part of Magpie Hall Road is set to be closed today (Friday) to allow KCC to work on the junction.

It will be shut between Goatlee Farmhouse and Ashford Road from 9.30am until 2.30pm.

"I believe the accidents that keep happening are down to speed and poor junction layout and signs"...

A member of Kingsnorth Parish Council's Speedwatch team says more needs to be done to slow drivers down on the route, which is currently 40mph.

The Ashford Road resident said: “I had been out on the road in doing speed watch last Thursday morning and we logged almost 400 cars using the road towards Park Farm, with nine doing over 46mph.

“Cars certainly slow down when we are doing this.

“I believe the accidents that keep happening are down to speed and poor junction layout and signs.

“We walk up and down this road when we walk our dogs, if you get two lorries in both directions you have to get out the way.

“When we were doing speed watch last week the amount of construction lorries already using the road is bad.

The crossroads has been the scene of multiple accidents
The crossroads has been the scene of multiple accidents

“They break up the road surface, get too close to the vehicles coming the other way and people using the footpath - these lorries need to be using the A28.”

A KCC spokesman said: “Following analysis of collisions at the Magpie Hall Road junction with Ashford Road in Kingsnorth, we are looking to implement an improvement scheme to better highlight the junction to approaching traffic.

“We are currently awaiting a programme date to start this work, which will include refreshing the lines and additional signage.

“We will continue to monitor the site and investigate other improvements available and implement those if, when and where required.”

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