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'Safety signs are not enough'

PUBLISHED: 16:32 15 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:37 23 August 2010

THE daughter of a 96-year-old who was killed on a notorious stretch of road has said £50,000 plans to improve signage are not enough to make the road safer. Pam Cleggett of South Street, Meopham, has been campaigning for traffic calming measures on the A

THE daughter of a 96-year-old who was killed on a notorious stretch of road has said £50,000 plans to improve signage are not enough to make the road safer.

Pam Cleggett of South Street, Meopham, has been campaigning for traffic calming measures on the A227 since her father, Tom Hole, was hit by a car while on his way to pick up a morning newspaper last August.

She says plans by Kent Highway Services for more speed limits signs and signs directing traffic to the A2, A21 and M25 are likely to be ineffective.

Mrs Cleggett said: "It's a start. It's probably the best they can do with the money but are people going to take any notice of the signs because they are always speeding through here? This was the problem in the first place.

"And are lorries really going to take the long way when diesel prices as high as they are?"

The A227 has been the site of a series of tragic accidents over the last few years. Father-of-three Paul Philpot, 46, of Hurst Road, Erith, died in a motorbike accident in November 2007 and 17-year-old Rob Cooter, of Sun Lane, Gravesend became the third person to die on the A227 in 18 months when he crashed into a telegraph pole on Mothers' Day last month.

Among the plans are signs directing Gravesend-bound traffic from the Quarry Hill Interchange at Tonbridge to follow the A21, M25 and A2 and traffic for Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells will be directed away from Meopham, Culverstone Green and Vigo onto the A2, M25 and A21 at the Tollgate junction.

Gravesham Borough Council leader Mike Snelling, and chairman of the Joint Transportation Board, has welcomed the move.

He said: "I am delighted at the commitment to improve the road and to try to reduce through traffic over time. I share residents' concerns about what is regarded as a dangerous stretch of road."

However, Mrs Cleggett says more needs to be done to stop motorists speeding on the road.

She said: "I wanted average speed cameras to be put in on the road. It has worked in other villages, the places that have had them have had a reduction in deaths and accidents."

Kent Highway Services says it will also be working with the police and road safety agencies.

Keith Ferrin, Kent County Council Cabinet member for highways said: "We're pleased that we've been able to fund these signing improvements in this financial year.

"In addition to the signage, we will continue to work closely with road safety partners to improve driver awareness of and compliance with the existing speed limits on the A227.

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