Wife of cyclist who died on A20 Ashford Road, Hollingbourne welcomes consultation of 24-hour clearway by KCC

The wife of a cyclist who died on a dual carriageway after colliding with a parked truck has welcomed news stopping restrictions could be introduced permanently along the stretch of road. Daniel Waite, a father-of-two from Bearsted, died on the A20 Ashford Road near Hollingbourne just before 8pm on July 3, 2019.

Mr Waite was an experienced cyclist Mr Waite was an experienced cyclist

The 43-year-old plumber was an experienced cyclist and was riding along the Maidstone-bound carriageway near the junction with Leeds when he collided with a parked Scania Tipper truck, suffering fatal injuries. Eight trucks, operated by company Tarmac, were parked in a convoy waiting to be deployed to overnight works on the M20 when the accident happened.

Following an inquest, coroner Bina Patel wrote to Kent County Council Highways (KCC) and Tarmac, asking them to consider introducing changes to practice to prevent further deaths.

In response, KCC has installed a temporary 24-hour clearway between Ashford Road, Eyhorne Street, Penfold Hill and M20 junction link roads to the A20 which could become a permanent fixture. A clearway is a stretch of road where it is illegal to stop for any reason except in an emergency.

Daniel with wife Sarah Daniel with wife SarahDaniel Waite, 43, died on the A20 in Hollingbourne Daniel Waite, 43, died on the A20 in Hollingbourne

A consultation detailing plans to make the changes lasting is now open for comments until March 8. The news has been supported by Mr Waite’s widow Sarah who has been calling for safety measures to be reviewed since the accident.

The 43-year-old said: “This is a really positive step. We understand nothing is going to bring Daniel back to us but as a family we do take a lot of comfort in knowing that KCC has taken some learnings on board and looked at the road in terms of amending the restrictions.

“I was relieved because I felt out of such a tragedy, something good has come from it. It means that somebody else won’t die in exactly the same situation.”

KCC Highways and Tarmac had until January 11 to respond to the coroner detailing what action, if any, they will take to prevent further deaths.

A temporary clearway between the A20 Ashford Road, Eyhorne Street, Penfold Hill has been introduced A temporary clearway between the A20 Ashford Road, Eyhorne Street, Penfold Hill has been introduced

Bosses at Tarmac felt their practice of parking up lorries was appropriately risk assessed and lawful. In response to the report, a spokesperson said: “The vehicles were parked in accordance with the Highway Code, and no criticism is made of their location by the investigating Police officers. “We can assure the Coroner, and Mr Waite’s family, that this incident is treated with the utmost seriousness.

“Tarmac is committed to the health and safety of its workforce and all those who we come in to contact with. “The business has reviewed its approach and considers that its risk based approach to vehicle location remains appropriate but has nonetheless reacted and reflected on the tragic events; we have circulated the details of the incident internally so that those involved in future risk decisions are fully aware of what happened.” While Mrs Waite found this response ‘concerning’ she is hoping people will join her in backing the consultation.

She added: “I would never ask people to support something they don’t believe is right, but I would ask people to drive along that stretch and imagine there were eight tipper trucks parked back-to-back and ask themselves, does that seem safe? “If the answer is no then I would ask them to support the proposal. “With the changes I feel like we can start moving on as a family.”

To view the consultation, click here.

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