Fatal crash looms on accident blackspot, warn residents

PUBLISHED: 17:14 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:39 12 August 2010

ACTION is needed before someone dies on a road that has seen three accidents in the space of just 12 hours over the weekend, a resident

ACTION is needed before someone dies on a road that has seen three accidents in the space of just 12 hours over the weekend, a resident has warned.

Barry Eldridge, 48, lives on the bend of King's Hall Road, Beckenham, and has already had his front wall demolished by a car that lost control.

He accused the council of making a mess of the traffic management and wasting time over traffic surveys when they have a catalogue of photographs showing crashed vehicles - all at the same spot.

Mr Eldridge said: "If they wait much longer I really think there will be a fatality.

"Drivers put their foot down because there are no cars parked on the bend, they see the traffic islands on the apex - the worst possible place - clip the island and then lose control. Nobody uses the island to cross because it's too dangerous. We've had our wall demolished and so has our neighbour, cars have smashed into the tree."

He added: "This situation is so dangerous we can't wait another year for statistics, I fear the next car is going to come through my front window.

"There are lorries coming up and down and, if one of those loses control, we've had it, basically. People living here have been up in arms about the traffic speeding and the number of accidents.

"We've approached the council over their flawed decision-making but we can't make them see sense, they are being very arrogant.

"There has to be a physical deterrent to stop vehicles from speeding."

Penge and Cator councillor John Getgood is taking residents' fears to council bosses.

Mr Getgood said: "Sunday evening, a van finished up wrapped around a tree, Monday morning a lorry failed to take the bend safely and hit the previously damaged van and then an hour later another lorry ran along the grass verge in an attempt to avoid the traffic island. The driver failed, collided with the traffic island, and his tyre blew out.

"This particular island needs to be removed before someone is seriously hurt."

He claimed there had been at least 10 incidents in the last 12 months with ambulances called on three occasions, adding: "This problem has been caused by the council's unwillingness to take appropriate action to slow down speeding motorists.

"As a result, residents are suffering. We have been asking the council to change this plan since it was installed."

Executive councillor for environment, Colin Smith, said: "Mr Eldridge has been advised on several occasions that the council will be carrying out an in-depth review when more accident data is available early in the New Year, the backdrop to his assertions are that accidents across the borough are at an all time low.

"In the meantime, the council are about to install two vehicle activated signs as an extension to the safety scheme. This will provide a further warning to drivers to slow down. It is possibly worthy of note that several of the recent accidents have happened in heavy wet weather conditions and the council will certainly study this aspect closely when the review happens next month.

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