Residents pack out hall to voice their concerns over the A1101 Sutton Road blackspot.
PUBLISHED: 10:07 24 November 2009 | UPDATED: 09:24 02 June 2010
SCORES of people including bereaved family members gathered for an emotional public meeting to voice their concerns over the county s worst accident blackspot on the A1101 at Sutton Road. The meeting had been called by the A1101 Accident Blackspot Campaig
SCORES of people including bereaved family members gathered for an emotional public meeting to voice their concerns over the county's worst accident blackspot on the A1101 at Sutton Road.
The meeting had been called by the A1101 Accident Blackspot Campaign Team and was attended by senior police and council figures, along with town, county and parish councillors.
Campaigners are calling for a 40mph speed limit, double white lines and fixed safety cameras, along the blackspot stretch of the A1101 Sutton Road that runs between Gypsy Lane and The Romanies.
At the meeting senior council figures including Amanda Mays, team leader road safety engineering at Cambridgeshire County Council announced that a £300,000 major scheme will go before the Cabinet in December and that it had been ranked number one on the priority list.
If approved, the money would pay for a number of key actions which would include the reconstruction of the bend, double white lines, improve the foundations and increase the camber. She also said that a number of key works had been carried out already on the road including improving the surface grip.
But although the campaign team welcomed the funding, they said they were concerned that even if the funding was given the go-ahead it would still be until next summer/autumn before the work was in place and that they felt it would mean another winter without enough safety measures on that stretch of road.
And campaigner, Virginia Bucknor, said: "We are not going to stop campaigning until we get what we are asking for which is double white lines, speed cameras and a 40mph limit. We believe this will save lives."
During the meeting she had given a poignant presentation on how the stretch of road was the county's worst accident blackspot and that it was probably the worst in the country for a rural A road.
She told the meeting that during a five year and five month period there had been 18 slight, 11 serious and seven fatal accidents on that stretch of road, and that only this week there had been another accident on the stretch of road.
And she said that they knew that there had been more accidents at spot since the research was carried out, which sadly included another fatal.
She asked how many more people would have to die before appropriate action was taken.
She said dealing with accidents on the road had cost more than £12m during the period studied.
Council officials and police were given a tough time from the audience, who repeatedly asked why speed cameras had not been installed and why money was being spent on different measures.
Councillor Mac McGuire, deputy leader and Cabinet member for Highways and Access told the meeting that he would be "supporting the bid when it came to Cabinet next month and that he was "confident that it will go through".
Insp Alan Page told the meeting how accidents happened along that stretch of road and how that number of fatal of accidents on the county roads had reduced since 2007, but that every year a fatal on the A1101 featured in the list.
Among those at the meeting was Helen Parker, whose daughter Susan, 24, died in November 2007 on the A1101, she said: "Would you want to lay your head on my pillow each night or walk in my shoes, you can't keep leaving this."
Also at the meeting was the farmer whose land and trees - are near the blind bend - he told the meeting that he would do all he can if it would help in the prevention of fatal accidents on that stretch of road
During the meeting all the campaigners praised the tireless work of the emergency crews including the East Anglian Air Ambulance team for their commitment when dealing with a collision.
The accident campaign team also wanted to apologise to the family of Anthony Reynolds who died in a fatal accident on the road, because they showed a picture of her accident on the large screen, which they had not intended to do.
An education campaign has been launched by the county council and police, who work together in partnership on road safety and police have agreed to increase both mobile safety cameras and patrol enforcement along that stretch of road.