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Couple warns someone will die unless something is done about 'dangerous corner' on Broadstairs Road in St Peters

A couple whose wall has been knocked down by cars twice in four months fear someone will be killed if action is not taken to make the road safer.

Jan and Patricia van Niekerk, who live on the corner of Broadstairs Road and Vicarage Street in St Peters, say drivers travelling along the A255 Dane Court Road from Margate lose control at the roundabout, where their property is located.

The car wiped out the front wall of their property
The car wiped out the front wall of their property

Worryingly, the retirees say hundreds of people cross daily at the corner - many of them school children who attend nearby Dane Court Grammar and St George’s CofE School - and it is only a matter of time before someone is hit.

They say Kent County Council records show the previous owners of the property, who they bought the house from in 1996, had also asked for something to be done.

“It’s so dangerous and we think a barrier or bollards need to be put up on that corner,” said Mrs van Niekerk.

“People said to us when we moved in that cars had crashed into the property wall a couple of times before and we thought ourselves lucky that it hadn’t - and then it happens twice in four months.”

The 72-year-old says they had only just had the wall repaired after it was demolished by an uninsured driver in October, only for it to be knocked down again at 6am last Saturday (February 8).

The car smashed into the property wall of the van Niekerk's home - the second time is has happened in four months
The car smashed into the property wall of the van Niekerk's home - the second time is has happened in four months

“It sounded like a bomb had gone off - they managed to wipe out most of it and there were bricks embedded in the car’s engine,” she said.

“If the driver hadn’t been in such a strong car it would have been much worse for him.

“The bricks went right up to our lounge window.

“If we’d have been out there at the time, we would have been injured.”

But for the couple, one of their main concerns is the large number of pedestrians and school children using the corner to cross over the road to reach the two secondary schools.

Patricia and Jan van Niekerk
Patricia and Jan van Niekerk

“Someone will die on this corner,” said Mr van Niekerk. “It is only a matter of time.

“KCC councillors and politicians from all parties involved in Thanet have been informed and until now it is just empty, wordy promises.

“KCC even refuses to visit the site.”

He says one KCC member admits they cannot get approval for bollards or railings because they are not solid enough to stop a vehicle hitting them at speed.

In a letter to the van Niekerks, they state: “I am now looking at making it less easy to attempt to drive straight through the roundabout.

“I’m waiting for a site meeting with the department that covers this, and have sourced what I hope will be enough funding to get it done.”

A Kent County Council spokesman said: "KCC analyses crash data supplied by Kent Police to identify and potentially address roads that could receive further safety engineering measures.

"Managing the speed of traffic is essential to continue reducing the number of and severity of casualties on our roads.

"Kent Police is responsible for the enforcement of speed limits.

"We are happy to consider all requests for changes to roads."

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