Following the public meeting on 13th September, a copy of the safety review that was carried out on the A291 is now available. There were two elements to this: an analysis of crash data and a site visit.
In response to concerns raised at the meeting, the Schemes, Planning and Delivery (SPD) Team carried out a detailed assessments of the crash data covering the last 3 years along the entire Canterbury Road A291 corridor, in addition to the routine crash cluster site analysis. There were 4 crashes between Curtis Wood Park Road and Bullockstone Road, 2 of which were serious and 2 fatal. Of those four crashes 2 involved drivers being under the influence of drugs / alcohol and 1 was an unexpected event (a tree located off the public highway fell into the carriageway). Some slight injury crashes were recorded between Curtis Wood Park Road and Mill View Road, but there was no pattern or clusters of crashes and no identifiable remedial measures that could be implemented. The data from Kent Police did not highlight that any of the crashes were a result of highway defects. As with many crashes elsewhere in the country there is often an element of human and vehicle mechanical error for which we cannot mitigate.
On Friday 25th October the SPD Programme Manager and one of the KCC accredited road safety auditors visited Herne and reviewed the A291 corridor from Mill View Road to Bullockstone Road. Various maintenance matters requiring action were noted, such as vegetation obscuring signs and signs in need of cleaning, but nothing considered unsafe. The enquiries have been raised with the KCC Highway Operations team for vegetation clearance, line refreshing, sign cleaning and other maintenance matters. These have been listed, with photos, in the attached word document. The highway operations team will need to ascertain when they can prioritise and carry out these works.
In addition to the maintenance matters outlined in the attached it is proposed to place some additional reflective verge marker posts along the grass verge between (what was) The First and Last Public House and The Cattery on the southern side of Canterbury Road. This will better highlight the slight bend, and can be funded using the limited small works budget available to the SPD team.
As outlined above, it is the view of the SPD team that there is not an identified road safety issue along the A291 corridor between Bullockstone Road and Mill View Road. Despite its difficulties, the A291 is the main arterial route between Herne Bay and Canterbury, and as such is a more suitable route for general traffic than most of the alternative routes which predominantly consist of country lanes. However, the concerns regarding congestion, queuing and volume of HGVs through the centre of the village are understood and I believe that it is accepted that Herne will benefit from the construction of the Herne Relief Road. Please accept our assurances that KCC is progressing the design of the improvement works to Bullockstone Road with every endeavour and are working on how to deliver the construction given the difficulties that the funding situation is presenting.
Major Capital Programme Team | Highways, Transportation & Waste | Kent County Council | 1st Floor, Invicta House, County Hall, Maidstone, ME14 1XX | Telephone: 03000 418181 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.kent.gov.uk |