Published: 12:50, 18 January 2021
| Updated: 15:29, 18 January 2021
Heartbroken staff at a village pub say they are devastated after a car smashed into the side of their inn for the second time in six months.
Repairs were only just being finished at The Swan Inn in Little Chart, Ashford, after a 4x4 ploughed into the front of the building in July – only for the same thing to happen again this morning.
Manager Sarah Birks was in the car park when the crash happened at about 10am.
"I was chatting to a workman who was dealing with the last bits of repairs when we heard a huge 'bang'," she said.
"The car had been coming down the hill from Pluckley and hit the corner where the toilets were.
"The airbags went off and it ended up back in the middle of the road.
"The repairs were done really - they were sanding down the floors ready for us to reopen whenever lockdown ended."
While the previous crash on July 4 saw the front of the pub caved in, this incident has seen a hole smashed into the corner of the pub that contained the toilets.
It is understood the driver of the Peugeot that was involved sustained minor injuries but was not taken to hospital.
Ms Birks said the conditions on the road were icy, but that more needs to be done to make drivers aware of the dangers of the road.
She said: "We had temporary traffic lights here until January 4, so it's taken less than a fortnight for something to happen.
"It's all very well reducing the speed limit if we can do that, but if people don't listen to it then this will keep happening.
"We must be the unluckiest pub in the world!"
Husband-and-wife team Ray and Ann Perkins - who run the 16th century pub - say they were "dumbfounded" when they heard the news.
"We're absolutely devastated, we've still got the builders in dealing with the last repairs," Mrs Perkins said.
"We're stuck in Spain dealing with something else and when we got the call we were just dumbfounded.
"Something has to change on this road or the next time it happens it could be when we have people inside.
"They had traffic lights in the road after the July incident but took them away a week or two ago.
"I said 'just watch what happens when those lights go', and here you go.
"It really feels like someone could die before Kent County Council does something about it."
The previous crash left Mr and Mrs Perkins with a £500,000 repair bill, and although the pub was well insured, this second crash has left the pair with more worries than just repairs.
"I don't even know if we'll be able to insure the pub after this," Mrs Perkins explained.
"This could really be the death of our business."
Little Chart parish councillor Alex Diebel says the council has been trying to address the speeding issue in the area for years.
'There seems to be a feeling of "well, nobody has died yet"'...
He said: "The speeding in and out of Little Chart has been getting progressively worse and incidents keep happening.
"There seems to be a feeling of 'well, nobody has died yet' about the whole situation.
"Let me tell you, at the rate we are going, someone is going to die soon if we don't do something about it.
"If someone had been sat on the toilet this morning they wouldn't be here any more!
"I believe KCC is working on something that involves painting the road to remind people of the speed limit, but I don't think that will be enough.
"The idiots who speed around here will continue to do so unless we do something."
KCC has been contacted for comment.