Mum calls for Bexhill road to be gritted after collisions

Picture: Jemimah Rainfray
Picture: Jemimah Rainfray

A teacher from Bexhill has called on East Sussex Highways to grit a road in Bexhill which was the scene of a number of collisions in this morning’s icy conditions.

Jemimah Rainfray, who was dropping her daughter to St Mary Magdalenes nursery, said she was pulling into Penland Road, Bexhill, when her car slid on black ice and collided with a van.

Picture: Jemimah Rainfray

Picture: Jemimah Rainfray

She said her wheels were facing the correct way but her car slid out of control towards the van leaving both vehicles written off.

She added: “I can only have been travelling between 10 and 20mph but I couldn’t do anything to stop it. My car just slid into the van on the opposite side of the road.

“Had it been five minutes earlier then children would have been running across the road and they could potentially have been hit and seriously injured.

“Even when the police officer turned up, she slipped on the ice as she got out of the car and said Highways need to do something about it.
“This road is busy with two schools and nursery nearby. It should be on the list of roads that need to be gritted when the weather drops below zero.”

Picture: Jemimah Rainfray

Picture: Jemimah Rainfray

Jemimah said a motorcyclist had slid off the road minutes before and other drivers had reported similar collisions in the road this morning (Wednesday, January 30).

As a result, a member of staff from Battle Abbey Nursery, in the adjacent Hastings Road, put down some grit to make the road safe.

Jemimah added: “It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the schools. We all pay our council tax and this is something which would protect parents and children.

“I am a single parent and a teacher. I need my car to get to work and to pick up my daughter but after this morning’s incident I am without a car and my insurance is set to increase. I will also have to pay a £200 excess as a result of this collision.

“The van driver was nice about the whole collision and accepted I had slid across the road but this could have been avoided.

“We knew these icy conditions were coming weeks ago.”

An East Sussex Highways spokesman said: “Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to be able to grit all roads and have to prioritise those routes where the need is greatest.

“During the course of the winter, the roads we routinely grit are our primary routes – A and B roads and around three quarters of C roads – which are the most heavily-used routes in the county.

“A section of Penland Road near the school is classified as a secondary route, which is only gritted when snow or continuous icy conditions are forecast locally, which wasn’t the case today.

“While we take all precautions possible given the limited resources we have, in cold weather there is always the risk of ice – including black ice – forming on roads and we’d ask motorists to make sure they take extra care and drive to the conditions.”

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