Last week I met with Tracy and Symon Squire. Their son Daniel was killed when his bike was hit by a driver who had been texting earlier in the journey. Daniel was a keen tri-athlete with a bright future ahead of him. He secured a place in the Bolton Iron Man shortly before he was killed. Daniel was loved by everyone who knew him. This is every parent's worst nightmare. Tracy and Symon will never get over what happened.
The driver was irresponsible, yet the danger was made worse by too many vehicles driving too fast on a road that is too small – the A258. In the past six years there have been 100 accidents on the A258. Over the last 15 years 18 accidents have resulted in serious injuries. Five have been fatal.
Tracy and Symon have placed a memorial by the side of the road marking the spot where Daniel lost his life. The white bicycle stands as a silent reminder to drivers of the need for extra care and attention when travelling on this dangerous road. Each accident is down to driver error. Yet there is no doubt that the A258 itself is a major factor. This road simply cannot handle all the traffic that travels on it.
Moreover, every time there is a crash, the road is closed. Motorists then divert through narrow country lanes, often leading to scrapes and stand offs. Even when there is not an accident, tailbacks are common.
The problem with the A258 is not simply the weight of traffic on it. It is the main road out of Deal and Walmer. So traffic heading from Middle Deal and the North End go through the centre of Deal and Walmer, creating more pollution and congestion. The town is a great place – yet it would be greater still with less traffic and pollution in the town centre.
We need to think as a community what we can do about the A258 and reducing traffic and pollution in the centre of Deal. To my mind it's time to think about better road access to Middle Deal and the North End that doesn't go through the town centre and Walmer.
Three miles away from North Deal there is a near empty dual carriageway – the A256. A du
alled spur from the A256 could be built to connect to Middle Deal and the North End. It would do much to solve traffic problems suffered by the residents of Middle Deal. It would enable a new route out of the North End that would avoid Middle Deal and the town centre. Traffic travelling on the A258 would fall dramatically. Residents of Walmer would benefit too.
This is a serious matter that has been a cause of grave concern to our community for years. It's time to address it. I would like to hear what people think about creating a new entry to Deal and the difference that it could make.
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