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Calls for new road layout at Sittingbourne's Quinton Road and Sonora Way junction to be made safer


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Urgent action needs to be taken to make a new road layout safer and prevent a serious accident, says a borough councillor.

Cllr James Hunt (Con), who represents The Meads on Swale council, said scores of residents had raised concerns about the safety of two new roundabouts at the junction of Quinton Road and Sonora Way in Sittingbourne.

Cllr James Hunt said scores of residents had raised concerns about the safety of the two new roundabouts at the junction of Quinton Road and Sonora Way in Sittingbourne
Cllr James Hunt said scores of residents had raised concerns about the safety of the two new roundabouts at the junction of Quinton Road and Sonora Way in Sittingbourne

They were installed at the beginning of September and replaced a T-junction.

Cllr Hunt said: “The two roundabouts are pretty much next to one another – you go straight around one and onto the next.

“When coming out of Sonora Way, the roundabout is set too far back so drivers exiting onto the roundabout have no visibility to the left, and drivers travelling east on Quinton Road can also not see if anyone is approaching the junction.

“Depending on sunlight and whether the road is wet it is also difficult to see the roundabouts when approaching on Quinton Road due to the road gradients.”

Cllr Hunt said he had received five complaints from residents and had a couple of dozen via social media about the new layout.

Cllr James Hunt with residents Paul Lewis, Corinne Baker, Peter French and Derek Deacon
Cllr James Hunt with residents Paul Lewis, Corinne Baker, Peter French and Derek Deacon

He said he had also been made aware of one particular incident in October that could have been “catastrophic”.

“A van was travelling too fast and failed to stop at the roundabout. A resident exiting Sonora Way narrowly missed the van, which braked so hard many residents across the area heard the screech of tyres. The van then just carried on,” he said.

“The resident had both her children on the passenger side of the car and if she hadn’t have stopped in time, the result could have been catastrophic.

“We need to consider here that she had right of way, but unfortunately this is a daily occurrence.”

Resident Peter French said the issue with speeding cars along Sonora Way was making matters worse.

Motorists often drive straight over the new roundabouts due to their ‘poor layout’
Motorists often drive straight over the new roundabouts due to their ‘poor layout’

Neighbour Paul Lewis added: “The layout of these roundabouts is totally ridiculous.

“It can’t be seen properly – they’re not even in the middle of the road.”

Cllr Hunt has written to Simon Jones, Kent County Council’s (KCC) director of growth, environment and transport, and has asked for “swift action” to be taken to install something more appropriate.

He said: “I’ve been told that the developer, Redrow, has been asked to carry out a stage three road safety audit. I’m unaware of the timetable for this to be done, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that action must be taken soon to ensure a serious accident doesn’t occur.

“At the very least, vegetation should be removed from the junction to ensure there is much better visibility, as this would be a quick and easy matter to resolve within a matter of days.

Motorists often drive straight over the new roundabouts due to their ‘poor layout’
Motorists often drive straight over the new roundabouts due to their ‘poor layout’

“I hope changes are seen as soon as possible.”

Cllr Hunt said he had not yet received a response from Mr Jones.

A KCC spokesman said: “The design of the mini roundabouts at Quinton Road have been subject to a full technical and road safety audit.

“KCC is aware of concerns around the way some motorists are using the new installations.

"We have instructed the applicant to carry out a speed survey and post-completion stage three road safety audit to establish what further safety improvements may be required.”

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