Safety fears as lorry traffic avoids road diversions

A mother is calling for urgent action over fears someone could be hit by an increase in lorry traffic following an emergency road closure.

Residents in Swanscombe, Kent, have complained that HGVs are using narrow side streets to avoid a diversion set up after a landslide on the A226 Galley Hill Road.

Rae Bottomley, 56, whose Honda Civic was damaged by a truck in June, said: "Eventually something majorly serious is going to happen. Someone's going to get run over."

Kent County Council said it was aware of the issue and would be ensuring clearer diversion signage was amended when required.

Ms Bottomley says the road closure, which was introduced in 2023, is causing "chaos".

She said: "Please hurry up and do something about it because everybody in Swanscombe is suffering."

'Dangerous'

Graham Taylor, of the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents’ Association, confirmed there were “regular reports” of articulated lorries causing damage to cars.

"There certainly seems to be at least an incident every week," he said.

Dartford Borough Council's Labour councillor Claire Pearce said: “It’s only a matter of time before something more dangerous happens."

Ch Insp Will Lay said Kent Police has set up an online portal where information and videos of suspected offences can be submitted.

A local beat officer had also been in contact with foreign and UK freight operators.

Mr Lay said the force was working with partners to look at opportunities to prevent lorries that breach the weight restriction from using the side streets.

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