I write to offer prayers and sympathy after the tragic death of a Chattenden man at Four Elms Hill, another death on a road that Medway Council readily admit is at its capacity.
It is important to remember that we the residents of the Hoo Peninsula have constantly echoed our feelings that the A228 is simply not designed to accommodate the amount of traffic now using it and simply how dangerous the road is becoming each day. With further commercial expansion at Kingsnorth and Grain, and with Medway Council’s plan to ‘unlock the potential of the peninsula’ by building another possible 12,000 houses and with very little positive information on infrastructure to accommodate such plans.
How many times will residents be cut off using the main road to the peninsula in times of an emergency?
Too often will the police stand by and let HGVs attempt a small B-road through Cooling and High Halstow, blocking it at a time thousands of people are attempting to get home, resulting in people spending hours in their cars, some with your babies and children, some being senior citizens, some even being forced to walk home or sleep in their cars.
How are emergency vehicles meant to cope with this gridlock? Babies won’t wait for a traffic free night to be born. Heart attacks and other serious illnesses can happen at any time. Experience has shown many times that the Peninsula becomes parallelised when incidents happen on our one and only road. Why after years of promises is there no protocol to inform large distribution companies on the peninsula to delay HGVs leaving depot? Why no signage warning HGVs no access to the Peninsula before they try to come on through unaccommodating roads? Do we need more or better enforcement of the speed limit on Peninsula way?
I have asked for a meeting with Kent Police to make sure they understand how isolated residents feel when our main road is blocked, and when lorries gridlock the only other option, the B-road at Cooling. Is it time for width and weight restrictions on that B-road? What if any protocol is in place for emergency services to access and leave the Peninsula when the main roads are blocked due to an emergency? I will spend today and the next couple of days trying to get answers to these questions. Not least why Medway will not divulge plans for improvements.