Published: 05:00, 08 January 2022
Speeds on a dangerous stretch of road must be lowered or people will be killed, residents have warned.
More than 100 people have signed a petition calling for the speed limit on Cranbrook Road and Chennell Park Road, Tenterden, to be reduced from 60mph to 40mph.
Tenterden Town Council has said it will back plans for a speed survey after residents pleaded for action to be taken.
The three-mile stretch has already seen one fatality in the past three years, after a woman in her 80s was killed in a two-car crash in April 2019.
Speakers told councillors at a meeting that the roads would see more deaths unless action was taken.
Peter Lehos, speaking at the meeting, said many people driving at more than 60mph and an overall increase in traffic was 'a lethal combination'.
He said: "There was a fatal crash on this road in April 2019. I know only too well the hazards – 60mph is no longer appropriate."
The second speaker, John Deans, said there had been "four minor incidents on this road in the past eight months".
He told councillors: "We cannot stop accidents but we can save lives. Someone will get killed at this junction."
Shaun Dewey, general manager of the Kent and East Sussex Railway, also spoke at the council meeting and pressed for the limit to also be reduced on Rolvenden Road, in the lead up to a level crossing.
He said he had seen an increase in the volume of traffic and a rise in the speed of many drivers.
He said: "We cannot control the traffic speed but prevention is better than cure."
Ashford Mayor councillor Callum Knowles, a Tenterden town councillor, backed the plan, describing the road as a "lottery" that drivers treated as a "race track".
Tenterden county councillor Mike Hill was present at the Town Council meeting, and said he had 'huge sympathy' for the worried residents.
He said: "I understand the level of feeling on this matter but we must get the facts first and that has to be a speed survey.
"Speed limits are a complex issue. Many people do not drive to the speed limit."
The speed survey supported by the town council would see Kent County Council (KCC) determine the effectiveness of speed reductions on the road.
A KCC spokesperson said: "When we assess requests for a speed limit reduction, we review the safety record of the road in question alongside data we capture in a traffic survey to ascertain what the current volume and speed of traffic currently is.
"The safety records help us to identify the number of crashes that may have involved excess speed as a contributory factor and allow us to identify if a speed limit reduction will reduce the number of further casualty collisions."