Safety Issues in Hawkinge

Contributed by ChrisAshman on Nov 03, 2004 - 02:07 PM


Letter to :
Cllr. David Callahan - Chairman Hawkinge Parish Council
Cllr. Peter Smith
Phillapa Janaway - KCC Road Safety Officer
The Rt. Hon. Michael Howard QC MP
Brian McAndrew, Chief Executive SDC
Robert Beck – Highways SDC
John Palmer – County Member

Cllr. Christena Smith
Cllr. Richard King KCC
Jan Doyle - Chair. – Hawkinge Neighbourhood Management Partnership

2nd August 2004

Throughout our regular safety forums there have been many requests from visitors to see consistent planning put into place for two areas of the expanded Hawkinge village. These areas are safety ‘black spots’ which we believe will get worse as the village develops.

It is not that responsible authorities have not tried to patch-up the problems but their failure to understand and respond to the overall picture. The Forum has asked me to write to you in the hope that you will use the influence and responsibilities of your office to help our village become a more harmonious and safe place to work and live.

Please excuse the descriptions if you are familiar with the area, but now look at the problem from an outsiders overall safety perspective.  Hawkinge sits astride the A260 main trunk road between Folkestone and Canterbury, it is also due to be split by a proposed bypass making it a 3 zone village. Around two thirds of the village being new development.

Through bad planning and deprivation the area has been granted millions of pounds by the government to improve services which will be managed by the Hawkinge Neighbourhood Management Partnership.  Safety in and around the village is the primary concern of the HCSF and we want rectification to existing problems followed up by future consideration for the safety of our residents.

The present centre of the village and shops are o­n the A260 with insufficient parking for villagers and through traffic. The village school is directly opposite the shops and existing parking. In between, the placement of 2 bus stops (opposite to each other) and main pedestrian crossing point sit. In amongst the parking area are access points for service to the shops, which enable delivery vehicles to straddle 2 public footpaths causing concern and danger to pedestrians.

Last year a child was knocked down and trapped under a reversing delivery vehicle. Several villagers have reported near misses whilst using the lower footpath.

During school term, parents delivering and collecting their youngsters add to the chaos. They park wherever they can, including bus stops, pavements and a side road which accesses the A260 at the same point, opposite the entrance to the Village Hall in which they also park, at times clashing with hirers of the Village Hall. Just add to the mix an arriving bus, a delivery to the Tesco store and envisage the misery of our village and the users of the A260 o­n their journey to and from work.

The new centre development of the village is eventually going to be built o­n the so named Employment Land o­n the opposite side of the proposed bypass with an entrance o­nto a small roundabout shared by a Nursery School entrance and adjacent to the Churchill Primary School and road crossing point. This area is claimed to be traffic calmed but o­nly limited to 30mph, which can be and often is exceeded by even commercial vehicles. 

The forum is concerned about the future of this area and the accidents just waiting to happen. This road (Haven Drive) has now become a main thoroughfare, rat-run or shortcut, for residents and outsiders due to congestion in Aerodrome Rd. and o­n the A260 in the old village centre. A narrow single lane (Gibraltar Lane) is also used in the same way increasing the danger to walkers and horse riders. Some of our village school children have to negotiate a main trunk road and a roundabout at he end of half a bypass, to attend school.

It appears that road congestion and danger to our Nursery and Primary school children has become bottom of the priorities during development planning of our village.

In an o­ngoing local poll 97% of residents call for a 20mph zone for all residential roads. The Forum understand the overall costs of this may need to be in future authority budgets but we call for immediate action now between Aerodrome Road and Spitfire Way before the new school term.

The Forum would also like to see the overall future plans for the development in the existing village centre and cure of the traffic/parking problems. If these exist and are available, please let us know by return. We would like to discuss them at a future meeting.  If they don’t exist, we requests that an appointed forum member is included in future planning meetings o­n behalf of the safety of the villagers. 

If you would like to visit the ‘black spots’ outside of or during the school term o­ne of our committee will be happy to show you around.

Hawkinge Community Safety Forum