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Calls for action to reduce speed limit on 'dangerous' A20 near Bearsted

A driver fed up with speeding and 'dangerous' conditions on a stretch of the A20 near Bearsted is calling for action to finally be taken to reduce the speed limit.

With the help of three parish councils and a resident's society, Rowland Little from Hollingbourne, wants to see the national speed limit of 60mph reduced to 40mph between the Junction 8 roundabout for the M20, to just before the Tesco Express garage where the 30mph limit kicks in.

Rowland Little from Hollingbourne is calling for the review
Rowland Little from Hollingbourne is calling for the review

This is something Mr Little, 76, from Manor Lane has been campaigning for since 2014.

After six years of trying, he is refreshing his appeal saying the road is still “appalling”.

He added: "I see people overtaking, drivers pulling out, slow moving vehicles trying to get onto the other side. There are also several blind spots on roads leading up to the A20, if you drive along that stretch you would see it's appalling.

"Things are exactly the same as they were six years ago. I feel I have got to do something about it because it's only a matter of time before there's a death."

Mr Little drives through this 1.8mile section of road several times each day on his way into Maidstone. He says the biggest issue comes when the limit suddenly drops.

Verges have been damaged in 'near misses'. Picture: Cllr Catherine O'Meara
Verges have been damaged in 'near misses'. Picture: Cllr Catherine O'Meara

He said: "Going from 60mph into 30mph immediately like we have to at the moment is dangerous even for the most experienced drivers.

"If you come off the motorway at Junction 8 and you enter the roundabout by the Biffa Depot, the 40mph limit should come in there. Not only will it make it safer, it will make it so much easier for drivers coming into the 30mph limit section."

The latest culprit was caught speeding there just days ago when police clocked a driver doing 44mph.

Determined to continue his fight, Mr Little wrote to Bearsted, Thurnham and Hollingbourne parish council, three villages which the road runs through, to help his request for a speed limit review from Kent County Council (KCC).

He has also received backing from the Bearsted and Thurnham Society.

Hollingbourne Parish Council says it would like to see it extended to cover an even wider stretch of the A20, up to Chegworth Road before Junction 8.

Cllr Catherine O'Meara said: "Speeding through the village is the subject of most of the complaints the parish council receives.

"I live alongside the A20 in the vicinity of The Park Gate Inn where the speed limit is 60mph. There are near misses almost every day often as a result of vehicles turning into The Park Gate Inn and Leeds Castle Golf Course, or further along Ashford Road into Broomfield Road.

"Traffic approaches these locations at speeds which are considered to be seriously endangering lives. Verges are constantly damaged by speeding vehicles leaving the highway to avoid collisions with vehicles waiting to turn at these junctions."

Cllr O'Meara said traffic flow has been made worse since the introduction of new homes in Harrietsham and will become an even bigger issue if further developments are approved.

KCC is yet to respond.

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