Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Sheppey Crossing speed limit to return to 70mph

By Times Guardian reporter

The speed limit on the Sheppey Crossing is to return to 70mph after Highways England completed a safety review.

The agency imposed a 50mph limit in the bridge and approaches in July last year following an inquest into the deaths of mother and son Debbie and Marshall Roberts.

VIDEO: The speed limit will be increased back up to 70mph.

In a letter released this morning, it has revealed it will also be introducing new measures to improve safety for motorists.

The Sheppey Crossing is closed this morning. Picture: Barry Hollis
The Sheppey Crossing is closed this morning. Picture: Barry Hollis

These include: installing average speed cameras, improving road markings, introducing reflective road studs and additional signage.

It is also investigating installing a fog detection system along with electronic messaging signs and CCTV for 24/7 monitoring.

The agency believes these ideas, which it hopes to have in place by the spring, will "ensure drivers are given adequate information about road conditions ahead to make their journey safely by influencing their behaviours".

Deborah Roberts, who died in a crash on the Sheppey Crossing, along with her young son
Deborah Roberts, who died in a crash on the Sheppey Crossing, along with her young son

Its 17-month review provided it with several findings about the 10-year-old crossing, which include:

  • Between 2009 and 2014, there were nine "injury accidents" including the2013 multi-vehicle incident in fog;
  • The tragedy involving Ms Roberts and her eight-year-old son;
  • The personal injury collision rate is 50% less on the crossing compared to a similar category of roads.
  • Since the 50mph limit has been in place, analysis reveals average speeds of about 65mph;
  • More than a third (34%) of vehicles exceeded the 50mph speed limit in the northbound direction and 27% in the southbound direction;
  • The accident rate has actually increased since introducing the 50mph limit.
Sittingbourne and Sheppey's Conservative parliamentary candidate Gordon Henderson
Sittingbourne and Sheppey's Conservative parliamentary candidate Gordon Henderson

MP Gordon Henderson has responded to the news this morning.

He said: "I am slightly disappointed it's taken so long to put in place what everyone knew needed to be done.

"We knew that the road was more dangerous at a lower speed and that the current speed limit was unenforceable.

"It was never a problem with a 70 speed limit along there, the real problem was that it wasn't enforced- but I'm told that they will be enforcing it now.

The wreckage from the Sheppey Crossing accident
The wreckage from the Sheppey Crossing accident

"I would have liked more putting in place but I am pleased with what they have proposed to do including the average speed cameras, cats' eyes and road markings.

"We have to take what they have offered and make sure it gets put in place as soon as possible."

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More