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A2 deadly toll revealed

PUBLISHED: 16:13 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:03 23 August 2010

HORROR:  A lorry ploughed across a central reservation hitting oncoming traffic in January this year. One man died.

HORROR: A lorry ploughed across a central reservation hitting oncoming traffic in January this year. One man died.

THIRTEEN motorists have died and 81 have been seriously injured in the last five years on a notorious stretch of road, we can reveal. The figures from Kent Police, obtained by the Times, reveal that since 2004 and until June of this year, there have also

THIRTEEN motorists have died and 81 have been seriously injured in the last five years on a notorious stretch of road, we can reveal.

The figures from Kent Police, obtained by the Times, reveal that since 2004 and until June of this year, there have also been more than 1000 collisions along the A2 in north Kent.

Statistics for the road, which are the Kent Police records of incidents between the A2018 junction at Wilmington and where it meets the M2, also show that 2487 vehicles have been involved in accidents along the road.

The top three main reasons for the collisions are slippery road surface, following too closely and failing to look properly.

Responding to the figures, Inspector Paul Sellwood of Kent Police's Roads Policing Unit said: "In the last 10 years we've reduced road traffic collision casualties by 40 per cent.

"We've looked at what causes collisions and focused our campaigns on speeding, failure to wear seat belts, using mobile phones while driving and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"We also concentrate our campaigns on vulnerable groups, such as young drivers and motorcyclists. We urge people to slow down, buckle up and to drive responsibly."

Figures reveal that a total of 13 motorists have died on the road since 2004, with one death between January and June this year.

Out of the 1144 collisions, 2339 cars have been involved, the second highest being motorcycles over 125cc with 36 involved in accidents.

The statistics for the contributory factors towards the incidents, which were not compulsory for the police to record, show that the main factor for accidents was motorists failing to look properly, with 109 incidents.

In 2009, until the end of June, there have been 74 collisions along the road, one fatality and six serious injuries.

Last month, the same section of the A2 near the Pepper Hill turn off south of Northfleet was closed on two consecutive days following accidents.

An HGV lorry collided with a tractor and overturned, blocking all four lanes of the carriageway, and a day later, a motorcyclist came off his bike and had to be airlifted to hospital.

In January this year a man died when a lorry ploughed across a central reservation hitting oncoming traffic.

Responding to the figures, a spokesperson for the Highways Agency, which controls the A2 between the M25 junction and where it meets the M2, said: "The Highways Agency is committed to safe roads, and our network has a good record on safety.

"We have recently completed two major improvement schemes on the A2 in north Kent.

"Both of these schemes have been designed and completed with safety firmly in mind and the new road has been built to the very latest safety standards, with numerous improvements to junction layouts and road alignment.

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