Town’s forgotten road
Written by karen on 2 June 2018
Concerned residents in Sittingbourne feel they have been forgotten, after years of complaints to Swale Borough Council regarding dangerous conditions.
Cars regularly double park, refuse collection vehicles find it difficult to pass though the road and Emergency services struggle to navigate up the road in emergencies. Highstead Road in Sittingbourne is being dubbed as “the town’s forgotten road” as double parked cars whether they be visiting the Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital, visitors to houses or students at Highstead Grammar School cause obstructions to the pavements, make the road very narrow for through traffic with many accidents reported.
Richard Baker who has lived on Highstead Road since 1984 believes the main issues are caused by sixth form students being unable to park on the school site and the Memorial Hospital being full since early morning each day. He said “We’ve been raising traffic problems for years but we are not getting anywhere. There have been a several major incidents where people have parked their cars and come back to finds wing mirrors ripped off by passing trucks. He added, we don’t think there is a great deal of expense involved it sorting it out.
“Not as simple as just paying to sort it out”
John Wright county councillor for Sittingbourne South says “unfortunately its not as simple as just paying to sort it out, there are a lot of parties involved. He explained “The Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital, Highstead Grammar, residents & Fulston Manor school just around the corner, need to be spoken too to see what can be done to improve the situation. “I completely sympathise with residents, and I am trying to do what I can in a sensible way to make the roads safe for all users.
Mr Wright will present the results of a parking survey at the next Swale Joint Transportation Board Meeting, after the meeting Cllr Wright said “We can look at temporary measures to see how traffic and parking moves, another option is to make part of the Highstead Road between Farm Crescent and Brenchley Road one way, but I don’t want to just move the problem elsewhere”
“Whatever time of day…”
BRFM tested the route during various times of the day, and found that whatever time of day, the route from the Bell Road junction (outside the Memorial Hospital) to where Highstead Road meets the new Swanstree Avenue route, where lined either side with parked cars, and it took considerably longer to pass due to having to constantly give way to oncoming vehicles, we also found in places it was extremely narrow for larger vehicles to pass. The Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital car park was full, and the problem was considerably worse outside the Hospital & School site.