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Village's 14-month wait for new speed signs to be switched on

Parish council chairman John Rivers by one of the speed signs
Parish council chairman John Rivers by one of the speed signs

A village is still waiting for its speed curbing signs to be switched on – 14 months after they were installed.

Now residents in Wittersham are urging EDF Energy to power up the flashing signs before someone is hurt.

The speed illuminated devices, installed in January 2008 by Kent County Council Highways, are still not working.

Parish council chairman John Rivers said the problem was frustrating everyone.

Mr Rivers said: “KCC Highways have been very supportive but their sub-contractor is reliant on the services of EDF to wire in the signs and prepare them for operation.

“We have had many emails backwards and forwards to KCC Highways, but each time they have been apologetic and sympathetic but powerless to help as EDF are not in a position to say when they can complete the work.”

According to Mr Rivers, the village needs traffic calming to remind some motorists that 30mph is the limit.

He said: “We have a tight turn in the middle of the village and some motorcycles and sports cars like to take the corner at a fast speed.

“I feel that it is an accident waiting to happen.”

Parish clerk Yvonne Osborne confirmed that power had been supplied to the device north of the village, but not yet to the one to the south.

Niamh Arnett, spokesman for EDF Energy said: “EDF Energy Networks apologises to residents for the delay in connecting a Speed Indicator Device (SID) on Stocks Road, to our electricity distribution network.

“Such work would not normally take this long and we are discussing the matter with our contractor.

“The project involves digging a trench across the road to install 10 metres of new electricity cable and connecting this to our overhead electricity network.

“We will need to use temporary traffic lights while we excavate in the road and will be working with the local authority to agree the timing of this work.”

She added: “We recognise the importance of this road safety sign to the local area and would like to reassure residents that we will be treating this work as a matter of priority.

“We aim to ensure the equipment can be connected to our electricity network as quickly as possible.”

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