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Dark Hill in Faversham is 'dangerous' for pedestrians

By Matt Leclere

The safety concerns of parents who fear crossing the road on the way to school with their children is leading to calls to improve the layout, which is being branded dangerous for pedestrians.

Speeding vehicles, poor visibility and parked cars are all issues raised by the hundreds of people who cross the road at Dark Hill in Faversham.

Town councillors are now pressing road bosses at Kent County Council (KCC) to introduce better safety measures to protect pedestrians.

Dark Hill, Faversham. Picture: Chris Davey FM4178799 (8419244)
Dark Hill, Faversham. Picture: Chris Davey FM4178799 (8419244)

A question from town resident Laurence Young at Monday’s town council meeting urged members to help improve the “dangerous situation”.

The road at the bottom of the hill by Stonebridge Pond is used by parents and children heading to Davington Primary School.

Mr Young says some parents are refusing to cross the road by the pond and are instead choosing to walk out of their way to the zebra crossing at the top of the hill.

The area has had problems with lorries using the narrow road and, despite KCC introducing signs to discourage HGVs, some drivers still use the road.

“Some parents no longer feel it is safe to cross the road near Stonebridge Way..." Laurence Young

Speaking at the town council meeting, Mr Young said: “Increased traffic and parking levels are causing not only inconvenience to residents, but safety problems for pedestrians.

“Many hundreds of people use the route every day, with most of them needing to cross the busy road. That includes children and their parents walking to and from Davington Primary School.

“Some parents no longer feel it is safe to cross the road near Stonebridge Way and now have to go out of their way to use the crossing at the top of Dark Hill, which is itself thought by many to be badly sited.”

Dark Hill, Faversham in 1912
Dark Hill, Faversham in 1912

Town councillors agreed there are concerns about the road layout and are calling on KCC to review traffic management on the section, requesting the town clerk to write to highway chiefs at KCC and officers at Swale Borough Council to carry out improvements.

Cllr Mike Cosgrove (Con) said: “The volume of cars and pedestrians together with children walking to Davington School make this 300 yard stretch very dangerous for pedestrians. Swale and KCC need to put better traffic management measures in place and we plan to make sure that happens.”

Lib Dem councillor Antony Hook says he visited the site a few months ago with an officer from Kent Highways to discuss possibilities.

Cllr Hook said: "There is a real problem here. I and Chris Oswald-Jones visited the area with a Kent Highways engineer to look at options.

"A zebra crossing would be ideal but this has been ruled out because KCC has a policy of no zebra crossings unless the traffic level multiplied by the pedestrian level squared is 100 million vehicle/people a day.

"I discussed other options with the engineer including an island in the middle or widening either or both pavements.

"Kent Highways say they have the resources to only work on one scheme per area at a time and as soon as they do the upgrade of the Whitstable Road zebra crossing, I will be asking them to do this."

Read more: All the latest news from Faversham

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