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Paul Henderson calling for road improvements in Beach Street, Deal, after an accident saw him airlifted to hospital

A church minister who was airlifted to hospital after an accident on Deal seafront has called for road improvements to be made before someone is killed.

Paul Henderson, 66, of Cheriton Place, Walmer, suffered severe head injuries after he was involved in a collision with a cyclist in Beach Street, outside the Royal Hotel, in April 2014.

The accident prompted calls from MP Charlie Elphicke and business people nearby for improvements.

Paul Henderson
Paul Henderson

Labour councillors Mike Eddy and Eileen Rowbotham pushed to make the road safer but the proposals were rejected in January by the town council’s former Conservative administration.

Since Labour regained control in May, £12,000 has been pledged for coloured surfacing and additional signs to warn motorists of the narrow road.

Works are expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Meanwhile Mr Henderson, a governor of The Downs Primary School, said he saw what could have led to another serious incident a few weeks ago but still nothing has been done.

He said: “Surely, coloured speed bumps and notices to slow down could help and wouldn’t cost a fortune.

“I was told that if the Kent Air Ambulance wasn’t in operation two years ago I would have died. Does someone have to be killed before action is taken?” - Mr Henderson

The air ambulance took Mr Henderson to King’s College Hospital in London.

The lay minister of St Saviour’s Church, Walmer, suffered broken ribs and bruises to the brain but he has now made a full recovery.

Despite calls for speed bumps, Cllr Eddy claims these would not go down well with customers of the Royal Hotel or nearby residents.

“I was told that if the Kent Air Ambulance wasn’t in operation two years ago I would have died.

“Does someone have to be killed before action is taken?”

“Speed bumps may solve the problem of people going through there too fast but might create problems for people living nearby,” he said.

This is because vehicles sometimes brake for a bump and then speed up again, or hit the bump hard, causing loud thumps.

He said: “We are stuck with the system our ancestors left us – all we can do is to make improvements to it.”

He added that the coloured surface has a psychological impact and makes motorists slow down.

The £12,000 scheme is made up of £5,000 from the two county councillors, Mike Eddy and Eileen Rowbotham, and £7,000 from Deal Town Council. It will also see plans for the road to be built-up to alleviate problems arising from the existing tilt.

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