Courier A21 01-08-2003
For Publication Sherwood timebomb – Courier 01-08-03
Darrel Billingham’s article on the £30M A21 dualling mentions 29 accidents so far this year. I don’t recall the Courier reporting each case? The Access to Hastings Multimodal Study of a few years ago acknowledge the good safety record of the Castle Hill section of A21. Crashes rates are higher on the Sevenoaks the dual carriageway section, but the article exaggerates the number of vehicles per day in the Castle Hill section which currently is 46,500 vehicles per day compared with 25,000 in 1997.
The safest alternative is to use the train, we are fortunate to have a central rail stations in Tunbridge Wells and High Brooms is convenient for the industrial estate. I find Connex a good operator, they respond well to complaints. It concerns me that the replacement to Connex may not be as good. The Wealden Line Campaign are pursuing re-opening the link to Lewes, and therefore making a direct journey between Tunbridge Wells and Brighton possible. A recent email from a visitor to my web space suggested that if the old curve from Groombridge to Ashurst were reopened direct trains from Victoria to TW via Edenbridge & Oxted would be possible again. A useful and fast alternative route to the crowded Charring Cross line. It is unfortunate that the Access to Hastings Study consultants were not permitted to look at these rail points.
The perceived danger and so called “substandard bend” at Castle Hill section may be the reason for the low crash rate there being no fatalities in the last three years until January. In that period there were 73 crashes resulting in slight injuries, and 10 serious injuries. There has been 3 fatalities over the past 15 years. The title “Sherwood time bomb” came from another visitor to my webspace (http://www.andrew.h.lohmann.btinternet.co.uk/) who emailed me. He was that traffic from the A21 presumably will go through Sherwood and High Brooms?
Andrew H Lohmann 27-07-03