A22 couple’s safety barrier plea rejected

Rodney and Pat Smith of Little Hackhurst Cottage, Lower Dicker which was damged in an accident
Rodney and Pat Smith of Little Hackhurst Cottage, Lower Dicker which was damged in an accident

A COUPLE whose house on the busy A22 was damaged in an accident ten months ago are calling for safety barriers and lower speed limits.

Rodney and Pat Smith want East Sussex County Council to erect motorway style barriers outside their home in Lower Dicker and the current 60mph speed limit lowered to 40mph.

Their calls come after an uninsured driver ploughed into their and their neighbour’s homes on November 1 last year leaving it uninhabitable with no gas, electric, windows and doors missing. The couple have only just returned to their home.

Rodney said, “We are glad to be home but the security of the property has not been acknowledged by the county council which is adamant it will not erect a motorway type barrier in front of the properties, which our neighbour also wants.

“There is no duty upon the council under the Human Rights Act Article 2 and 8 to safeguard life and enjoyment of our home.

“The thought of another collision, which will be our third impact, has frightened us both.

“Perhaps the next time the vehicle may be a 44-tonne juggernaut from Europe.”

A spokesman for the county council said, “We take residents’ concerns very seriously and appreciate this is a difficult time for Mr and Mrs Smith. While we sympathise, we hope they can understand we cannot provide barriers to protect private properties.

“There are lots of houses across the county situated on the road network and it would be impossible to protect them all.

“That said, we have agreed in principle to reduce the speed limit on this part of the A22 to 40mph.

“This is scheduled for the next financial year, although we will need to consult with interested parties in the normal way before any final arrangements are made.”

“The speeding and lack of barriers is not the only issue facing the Smiths, who say they have been left thousands of pounds in debt because of hold ups with the insurance.

Mr Smith were told repairs would start in February but lengthy delays mean the restoration is only now complete.

He said, “After seven months of sheer hell, we returned to our home but are still trying to put our home and life together. It has been an absolute nightmare.”