Camera installed at blackspot
AT LAST! Bexhill's most notorious accident blackspot will finally be monitored by a speed camera.
Damning figures identified King Offa Way as one of the most lethal roads in the area. A 400-metre length of the Old Town bypass witnessed five serious crashes and three fatalities over a three year period.
Now, after a concerted campaign by the Observer supported by town MP Greg Barker, it is hoped the launch of the new camera on Monday, will bring an end to the nightmare for residents and road users.
Present at the launch were crews from Bexhill Fire Station, who often have to deal with the unpleasant aftermath of accidents not more than a stone's throw away from the Fire Station.
Pupils from King Offa School were also on hand, hoping their journey to school will be a safer one in future.
The Sussex Safety Camera Partnership (SCCP) took the decision to place the camera on the westbound approach to the London Road junction, which already has a camera in place to deter light jumping due to a history of smashes.
The list of accidents on the Old Town bypass makes for shocking reading.
In February 2003 Stuart Doe died after his car was launched into the homes below the carriageway - excessive speed was thought to be the likely cause of the accident.
Jason Montague, of Tunbridge Wells, died in March last year after losing control of his motorcycle. A coroner heard how he may have been travelling in excess of 100 miles per hour.
The Observer, with the support of residents, Town MP Gregory Barker and Rother Leader Graham Gubby, set about having essential safety measures put into place.
In July safety barriers were erected to protect the occupiers of flats below the level of the westbound carriageway.
These were sadly proved to be of limited use when, four months ago, a car left the road and smashed into Gilbert House in a sickening repeat of the 2003 crash.
Concerned Bexhillians called for a speed camera. They have at last got their wish.
Emma Rogers, Communications Manager of the SSCP, said: "By installing a speed camera on this vulnerable road, our aim is to reduce the speed of traffic before they arrive at the junction.
"This should see a reduction in accidents because of motorists travelling too quickly and not braking in time."
Station Officer Mani Gilbert from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: "Out of about eight calls we get, we can almost guarantee seven will be something to do with a road traffic crash. We have seen the devastation inappropriate speed and dangerous driving can cause first hand and we will support any measures taken to reduce this loss and destruction.
"That's why we are pleased to see this camera being installed. Slower speeds on this stretch of road can only be of benefit to Bexhill."