Becket House Wall

A message from Parish Councillor Judy Petty

“…a dear old friend missing a few teeth”

Brightlingers will not have failed to notice that poor old Becket House has once again been in the wars and for some months now has resembled a dear old friend missing a few front teeth. On the last occasion, the wall was hit by two cars on the same evening, both losing control on the ice, but over the years it has suffered more than its fair share of knocks and bashes as drivers going too fast, lose control on the bend.

The problem is not a modern one: back in 1905 a young Brightling boy attending the village school was tragically killed, prompting the Parish Council to protest strongly “against the rate of speed at which motor cars are allowed to travel through villages whereby the lives of persons both on foot and in horsedrawn vehicles are exposed to the greatest danger, and much damage through dust is inflicted on property”. Fortunately, Brightling has not witnessed any such fatality in recent years, but with the increased speed of traffic and the massive expansion in size of the vehicles thundering through the village, it’s a worrying prospect.

Members of the Parish Council recently met officers from the County Council Road Safety Team on site to see what measures could be taken to calm traffic and improve safety. We learned quite a lot about what boxes need ticking in order to qualify under Highways Department rules for the implementation of various traffic calming features. Brightling, it seems, being very rural, doesn’t seem to qualify for much at all! However, as a first step, it was agreed that white lines, cats eyes and chevrons will be renewed throughout the village with an additional painted ‘SLOW’ sign and a new ‘REDUCE SPEED NOW’ sign by Bleak House.

The Parish Council intends to monitor the situation once the above works are implemented and is prepared to consider carrying out a speed and flow project as a preliminary to a further traffic calming feasibility plan.