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THE A2: Five crashes in five days

PUBLISHED: 17:12 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:56 23 August 2010

WRECKAGE: Mangled bike after smash

WRECKAGE: Mangled bike after smash

TRAFFIC chaos hit north Kent after accidents on the same stretch of road on consecutive days left rush hour motorists stuck for hours in miles of tailbacks. Accidents on the London bound carriage way of the A2 left all four lanes closed near the Pepperhi

CHAOS: Lorry crash closes A2

TRAFFIC chaos hit north Kent after accidents on the same stretch of road on consecutive days left rush hour motorists stuck for hours in miles of tailbacks.

Accidents on the London bound carriage way of the A2 left all four lanes closed near the Pepperhill junction, south of Gravesend, on Monday and Tuesday afternoon.

An HGV lorry collided with a tractor and overturned at 5.15pm on Monday, shedding its load of timber, and spilling nearly 400 litres of diesel.

On 5.30pm on Tuesday a man in his 20s came off his bike, which witnesses say hit the central reservation when it was trying to overtake a bus.

Figures reveal that on the A2 between the A2018 in Dartford and the A227 in Gravesend eight people were seriously injured in 2005. This figure more than doubled in 2007, rising to 19. In January this year a man died when a lorry ploughed across a central reservation hitting oncoming traffic.

During Tuesday's bike smash The Kent Air Ambulance had to airlift the victim to hospital suffering from major chest and abdominal injuries.

Motorist Tom Saunders, 63, spoke to the driver of the bus that was involved in the accident.

He said: "I went up the front to speak to him. He seemed pretty shaken up. He told me the motorbike was going along in the outside lane and as he overtook the bus, he clipped the central reservation, lost control and the bike spun across the road.

"They drive way too fast down this road but my thoughts are with the injured person. It's uncanny that it happened in more or less the same time as yesterday and at the same time."

Another driver, Alan Parris, 40, of Lower Station Road, Crayford, said: "I was stuck at the same time yesterday for three hours.

"I can't believe I am in it again. I feel gutted for the bloke, someone has been badly hurt."

The road was partially reopened at about 7.30pm and the motorcyclist was taken to Royal London Hospital with major chest and abdominal injuries.

It came almost exactly 24 hours after a lorry overturned on the A2 between the Tollgate roundabout and the Pepperhill junction.

The lorry blocked all four lanes as it lay on its side, with the mangled remains of the tractor lying nearby. Both drivers were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Police partially re-opened the road at 8.15pm, and teams from the Highways Agency remained on the site to resurface the area which had been damaged by the oil spill. The road was fully reopened at 5.45am on Tuesday.

Paul Hatfield, who works for the Kentish Times, saw the aftermath of the crash on Monday on his way home to Downs Road, Istead Rise.

He said: "There were people out of their cars, wandering along the road, they must have been stuck for hours.

"People were just abandoning their cars and going to the local shops in Painters Ash to get drinks. It was a scene of total chaos really, it looked like something out of Casualty."

In both accidents traffic was diverted away from the A2 through Northfleet and Southfleet, blocking local roads. Last Friday morning, four lanes of the A2 had to be closed after another lorry overturned on the A2 near Bean, between the junctions of the M25 and the A2260. Nobody was injured in the incident and the road was fully reopened at 9am.

On Saturday, a woman had to be rescued from her car after it hit the central reservation on the A2 at the Shepherds Lane junction of the A2 coastbound carriageway at 12.40pm.

The same day a car rolled several times on the A2 before hitting the near side barriers just after the Pepperhill junction. All passengers walked away with cuts and bruises.

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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