Road accident statistics

A STRETCH of the A21 between Hurst Green and Hastings has been listed as one of the most dangerous roads in the country, according to a report released this week.

The 23km section has witnessed 77 crashes over a four-year period from 2006 to 2010.

The data was published in the Road Safety Foundation’s report, called Engineering a Safer Future.

In it the stretch of the A21 falls under the top 10 busiest high-risk roads list, in which an average of 13,883 vehicles used the road daily over the same four-year period.

It also has a crash record of 3.3 per kilometre, the highest in the same list.

Councillor Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: “This is a vital road connection for our town.

“It is the route out for our businesses and local residents and it is also the road in for our many visitors.

“This report has to be used to press the Highways Agency and its government purse-string holders to look urgently at the worrying safety record.

“I raised the matter at the county council meeting this week and I will also be asking for an early meeting or our A21 Group that brings together the MPs and councillors along the route of the road to consider how we can press the case for safety improvements as soon as possible.”

At the end of October last year, a 26-year-old man from Birmingham died and five people, including two children, were injured in a serious car accident on the A21 at Hurst Green at the junction with the A229 Merriments Lane.

And just last month a 21-year-old woman from Kent was seriously injured when the car she was a passenger in left the road at John’s Cross.

The driver of the car has since pleaded guilty to a string of motoring offences.

In May this year the Government gave the green light to development work on the A21, which runs from the coast to London.

Roads Minister Mike Penning announced the start of public consultation work on widening the route between Tonbridge and Pembury in Kent.

The announcement came just weeks after Whitehall gave the go-ahead for the £100 million Bexhill to Hastings Link Road.

The scheme will expand the road between Tonbridge and Pembury from single lanes to a dual carriageway.

The development work is to be carried out over the next three years. Widening would start in 2015.