It seems that every year there is another crash in the same part of Dane Valley. The details are always the same, a car making a right hand turn out of Tenterden Way onto Millmead road is hit by oncoming traffic. The reason – no one saw the car.
The problem is worse when all the curbside parking spaces are filled on Millmead Road. The hill combined with the slight curve in the road causes the parked cars hide the junction.
Millmead road is busy enough at the best of times. With two schools right there, traffic can get very heavy at peak times. My fear is that, sooner or later, someone will be killed. When that happens, I want the authorities to know – we warned you this would happen.
In 2010 my sisters and mother were hurt in an accident at that junction. My sister was pregnant at the time of the crash. (Don’t worry, the baby was okay).
Campaign for safety
I tried to do things KCCs way and used their hard to use petition site. Eleven people signed the petition. Kent County Council responded that they could not put up a mirror due to “health and safety. Surely, that is why you would have a mirror?
In 2013 I attended a TDC meeting and address the council. At the time, Labour ran the council with the Tories nipping at their heals. I put it to Thanet District Council that they too should be doing something. After much delay, they had the corner (where parking is illegal anyway) marked with double yellow lines. This has proven ineffective. In 2016 there was another near-fatal accident on the corner. Around the same time, I again pointed out that there was a problem.
At the TDC meeting, I spoke to Labour’s Will Scobie. At the time he was also a KCC councillor and had access to a discretionary fund. He agreed to “look into” using his fund to improve the corner.
UKIP promised us change when they came to power. As far as I can tell, they have ignored this issue entirely. At least Labour did something (even if it did not help much).
Lib Dem Support
A more successful petition was run by the East Kent Coastal Liberal Democrats. The 2016 petition resulted in me getting my picture in the local paper. The headline was “Activist demands action at ‘terrifying’ junction”.
To date, the Lib Dems have been the only party to actively support making the junction safe.
However, without Thanet based Lib Dem councillors to speak up for us, Tory-backed KCC clearly feels they can ignore us. KCC has refused to budge on this issue. Accidents continued to happen. More are sure to follow.
In the last six months, with two separate drivers, I have been involved in two near misses with another car. One of those other cars was a police car. An accident was prevented only because of the driving skill of the police officer at the wheel. Despite being shaken up, I was deeply impressed with the unknown officer’s fast reactions.
The ongoing lack of death at the junction should not be down to lightning reflexes. Action on the Millmead Road and Tenterden Way junction is long overdue. It could have cost me my niece so how long until this junction kills someone?