British man says his home has been hit by trucks 20 times

The hits to Mark Kilbey’s 16th-century cottage just keep on coming. Kilbey and his partner have lived in the cottage in the small village of Wingham, England, since 2015.

In that time, Kilbey says that transport truck drivers have struck his house around 20 times. In one particularly bad year, he says trucks hit the house eight times.

“It’s been called ‘The most-hit house in Britain’ and I think that’s completely true,” Kilbey told As It Happens guest host Helen Mann. “If someone else is being hit as much as this, I’d like to meet them and, you know, go and commiserate with them and maybe have a few drinks together and, you know, hug each other and talk about how the hell we’re going to get through it.”

This man claims his home has been dubbed the most accident hit house in the country <a href=”https://t.co/GFaaPDOCgG”>https://t.co/GFaaPDOCgG</a> <a href=”https://t.co/nHHmT1oMHa”>pic.twitter.com/nHHmT1oMHa</a>

&mdash;@Kent_Online

Kilbey’s house was hit most recently last Monday, he said, and the kicker was that they had just finished repairs after it was struck in June. “The builders packed up at five o’clock last Monday.

And I jokingly said to them, ‘Leave your ladders here because you’ll probably need them quite soon ‘ — not believing or thinking that it would be 3 1/2 hours later that the house would be hit again.” After the builders left, Kilbey says he went out with his son, and had a nice evening. “I came home to find a 44-tonne articulated truck parked by the road and quite a bit of my roof just laying down on the road, and other parts of my house dislodged,” he said.

This was a horse and cart track not that long ago.

And now it’s now it’s being used by completely inappropriate vehicles.”

– Mark Kilbey

The problem, according to Kilbey, is the house’s location. It sits next to a narrow street about four metres wide, at a T-intersection. Kilbey says that when articulated trucks try to turn where they shouldn’t, the backs of the trailers hit the house. “The solution is very simple, and that is to stop vehicles over a certain axle weight turning there,” Kilbey said. “But our local authority, which is Kent County Council, refuses to accept that there’s a problem.

And all I get told is, ‘We are monitoring the situation.'” Last week, a spokesperson for the council told the website Kent Online: “We very much sympathize with Mr. Kilbey but unfortunately this is difficult for KCC to resolve as a highways authority.” “There is no possibility of altering the road layout and we have discussed with businesses about re-routing their vehicles where possible,” the spokesperson continued.

Kilbey says the council could force the drivers to take a different route and they haven’t. Instead, he says, he has installed cameras to catch the drivers hitting his house. He estimates that some hits to his house cost as little as GBP2,000 (£3,500 Cdn) to repair, but a more serious hit costs between GBP6-7,000 (£10-12,000 Cdn) to fix.

He has been able to get some costs covered through the truck drivers’ insurance companies, but it still takes time to go through the process.  “Thankfully on most of the occasions we’re talking about roof slates, possibly some parts of a window, gouging to the front of the building, you know, a bit of the plaster, the rendering coming out,” he said. Kilbey pointed out that his 16th-century cottage is made of wood and a “glorified form” of modern straw, which means it’s not reinforced against modern things like transport trucks.

“This was a horse and cart track not that long ago,” he said.  “And now it’s now it’s being used by completely inappropriate vehicles.”


Written by Andrea Bellemare.

Produced by Menaka Raman-Wilms.

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