Fenland road safety campaigner says he's encouraged by latest slow down, don't drown message

By Graham Chappell, Fenland Road Safety Campaign I STOPPED for some photos and a chat with the driver of the Slow Down Don t Drown Billboard Van on Saturday November 7 at Chain Bridge on the Twenty Foot Drain. He was very keen to chat and share his tho

By Graham Chappell,

Fenland Road Safety Campaign

I STOPPED for some photos and a chat with the driver of the 'Slow Down Don't Drown' Billboard Van on Saturday November 7 at Chain Bridge on the Twenty Foot Drain.

He was very keen to chat and share his thoughts and observations on the hazards of our roads and behaviour of some of our drivers.


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The incongruity between the clear '50mph signal within the 'Slow Down' message of the council's campaign, and the fact that 60mph remains the advisory norm on the 16Ft and 20 Ft, surely needs addressing, nevertheless, I am much encouraged that last year's publicity for the campaign has proved not to be a 'flash in the pan'.

The proposal for at least annual repetition of any educational/advisory campaign, made in various Fenland Road Safety Campaign letters and the review documents, seems now to have been heeded, which has to be a good thing.

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At a cost of around �300 per day, Cambridgeshire County Council has commissioned the use for three weeks (ending 14th November) of this 'Billboard Van', supplied by 'Vision Outdoor Ltd', to promote the message 'Slow Down, Don't Drown on Fenland Roads'.

The van has been touring and on show in various towns and river road locations in Fenland and has certainly made an impact, sparking positive comments from many who have seen it.

The message has also been supported by recent full page colour features in local newspapers, reinforcing the work of last autumn's launch of this campaign by Cambs County Council.

It is a clear sign of progress that this educational aspect of the drive to improve safety on Fenland's river roads is now understood to be something that needs to be repeated at least annually.

Wayne, the driver of the Vision Outdoor Ltd 'Slow Down, Don't Drown' Billboard Van, comes from Southport, and was shocked and troubled when he first saw the obvious hazards of the Fen river roads and the dangerous behaviour of some drivers.

Wayne took a keen interest in news of the Fenland Road Safety Campaign and spoke at length with the Campaign Organiser about the value of his company's cautionary message whilst longer term solutions, such as safety barriers and effective speed regulation measures, are awaited.

I met with Malcolm Moss MP on Friday 6th November. He has confirmed safe delivery of the Campaign letters and booklet to the PM and that Shadow Roads Minister Robert Goodwill MP, has spoken personally with Malcolm about the material and associated issues.

We discussed the possibility of further direct liaison with the potential future Roads/Road Safety Minister as the conspicuous issues re persistently high KSI figures in Fenland are a particular example of how problematic rural roads across the country can be in this respect.

Each progress resistant area will have both unique and common characteristics. Our area could serve as a test case for how to tackle and make progress with those issues, for the benefit of the local community and the country as a whole.

You've got to have a dream eh? As the song goes, "If you don't have a dream, how you gonna make a dream come true?

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