Page last updated at 08:58 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 09:58 UK

Hit-run crash spot 'speed hazard'

Harrietsham road check
Police stopped all drivers on the A20 on Friday morning

Residents of a Kent village where a 70-year-old pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run accident are calling for better safety measures on the roads.

The woman died on Thursday on the A20 in Harrietsham while using a pedestrian crossing. Police stopped and checked all drivers at the spot the next day.

Jaswinder Sian, who runs a shop yards from the accident scene said speeding drivers were a hazard 24 hours a day.

A Kent County Council (KCC) spokesman said it was reviewing all speed limits.

Chairman of Harrietsham Parish Council, Derek Clifton, said he urged the driver of the vehicle in last week's incident to contact police immediately.

You would expect to see more major accidents in Maidstone because of the volume of traffic
Keith Ferrin

He said the speed limit was lowered to 40mph from 60mph four years ago after a campaign by local people.

"Our aim now is to get it lowered even more and for it to be policed and enforced," he said.

He said residents would like to see "road softening" measures and were looking at setting up a Speedwatch scheme manned by volunteers.

Lib Dem county councillor Ian Chittenden said Maidstone had the worst road accident record in Kent, with five deaths and 28 serious injuries since January.

An investigation into the reasons is currently being undertaken by KCC and a report is due out in November.

"It is not going to be one issue - it could be partly the roads, it could be speed, it could be something about drink driving and the night-time economy and it could be partly because Maidstone probably has the busiest highways in Kent," he said.

"We have got to look at action plans around all those."

Major routes

KCC highways boss, Keith Ferrin, said the A20 was a major road and the government would not allow traffic calming measures.

"The road through Harrietsham is quite wide and straight - the sort of road that does induce motorists to drive quite quickly," he said.

"I understand the feeling that something has to be done, but the question is what?

"We are reviewing all speed limits in the county anyway."

He said Maidstone had more major routes than anywhere else in Kent.

"You would expect to see more major accidents in Maidstone because of the volume of traffic," he said.


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