The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

News: House used as crash barrier by 40 cars in 14 years

House of cars


IT MIGHT look like a house but to some drivers who have encountered the 18th century cottage, it’s a handy crash barrier.

The end-of-terrace property is on a sharp bend at the bottom of a hill in the village of Nether Haugh, South Yorkshire. In the 14 years that its owner Ted Grayson, 57, has been living there, over 40 motorists have lost control of their cars and crashed into it. The most recent accident was two weeks ago when a car destroyed a large section of the garden wall. So far this year, four cars have piled into Grayson’s home.

Grayson, a farmer, said, “I’ve had minor knocks and then disastrous accidents, such as a lorry jackknifing and taking out the end of my house.”

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The bend that causes so many drivers to lose control is on a busy section of the B6089 Rotherham to Dearne Valley, used by 7,000 vehicles a day. It has a limit of 30mph but residents, some of whose homes have also been struck by cars, are campaigning to have speed cameras installed and the limit reduced to 20mph.

Grayson says that motorists approach the corner too quickly and lose control. It’s such an accident blackspot that he cannot get insurance for his house and has to claim on drivers’ insurance policies for repairs.

Rotherham Council has reduced the speed limit to 40mph on the approach to the village but has declined to adopt further safety measures.

Nigel Davey, a council engineer, said: “While there have been a number of accidents in Nether Haugh recently, we are not aware of any injuries sustained. We will obviously monitor the situation.”

crash barrier 2