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Horsmonden villagers grow angry at KCC inaction over dangerous crossroads

By Alan Smith

Villagers are growing angry after the fifth crash at the same crossroads within 12 months.

They say urgent action is needed to improve safety after all of the accidents happened in exactly the same manner.

In the latest accident, a vehicle approaching Horsmonden village green from Lamberhurst Road failed to realise there was a crossroads with Brenchley Road and shot out, striking a vehicle on the main road.

Fortunately no one was injured when the Ford Fiesta and BMW collided just after 8pm on Saturday. The road was closed until 11.15pm.

All five accidents have been recorded on the CCTV at the Heath Stores, adjacent to the corner.

Store owner Kate Mills said: "Something has to be done as a matter of urgency.

"Cars are very well engineered these day, and fortunately none of the drivers have been seriously injured yet. But what if its a cyclist or a motorbike passing?

Kate Mills: 'We need action now'
Kate Mills: 'We need action now'

"What happens when there's a group of school children going to school, and the vehicles are pushed into them? It could be carnage."

Mrs Mills and Horsmonden Parish Council have already taken up the issue with KCC, but she said: "I haven't even heard back from KCC since the last accident in January."

Signs warning of the approaching crossroads are in place on Lamberhurst Road, but some drivers have said they had been following sat navs which hadn't warned of the need to give way at the approaching junction.

A previous collision
A previous collision

In the first accident a year ago, a Land Rover side-swiped a John Lewis lorry, sending it smashing into a house, telegraph pole and phone box.

The same building has been struck three times in total.

Horsmonden Parish Council has set aside £20,000 to spend on any measures necessary to improve safety.

It is due to discuss the latest crash at a meeting in the Village Hall in Back Lane tonight.

The fear is what will happen if a pedestrian happens to be in the way
The fear is what will happen if a pedestrian happens to be in the way

A spokesman for Kent County Council said: "We are working with Horsmonden Parish Council which has commissioned a consultant to develop a highways safety scheme.

“KCC has been providing support to the Parish Council as the proposals have been developing.

“At present these are in draft form and relate to a possible speed limit change, junction improvement and signage.

“We are always concerned to hear of incidents on our road network and we constantly strive to keep people as safe as possible on Kent’s roads.

This property has been damaged three times
This property has been damaged three times

“It is important to note that we have to be able to directly mitigate against crashes through engineering - we cannot engineer against dangerous driving.

“KCC has to prioritise its remedial works where specific mitigating schemes have been identified to solve a particular road safety matter.

“We're happy to consider all requests as long as residents go through the steps outlined on www.kent.gov.uk/highways

“We analyse crash data supplied by Kent Police for any trends that can be identified and potentially addressed by investing in safety measures."

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