Tribute paid to Wisbech Blackspot campaigners as A1101 safety work starts

AS work began on improving a notorious Fenland accident blackspot tribute was paid to the campaigners who fought and won the battle.

The �350,000 safety scheme on the A1101 Sutton Road, near Wisbech, got underway on Monday and will involve major engineering works in a bid to cut the number of deaths on a 250-metre stretch close to Gypsy Lane.

Watching work get underway, Councillor Steve Tierney said: “I have been involved with the campaign from the start and I think it is fantastic and very laudable what they have been prepared to do and the time and effort they have put into it.

“They have been very committed and dedicated and it has shown what can be achieved when people work together.”

Cllr Tierney, Cambridgeshire county councillor for Roman Bank and Peckover Division, said it had been impossible for the county council to ignore the campaigners and the strong feelings of local people.

He said: “The strength of local feeling and opinion was such that it could not be ignored. Their voice was so clear that people just had to sit up and take notice and there was a pretty quick response. A lot of different things have been tried out but it was soon apparent that the only thing to do was a major project.”

However, Cllr Tierney pointed out that drivers still need to take care on the road. He said: “I think we have still got to do some educating. People have got to recognise that it is a seriously dangerous road and despite this work you have still got to be careful.”

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The work includes widening at some points, reprofiling of the carriageway and resurfacing to improve skid resistance.

A memorial service for bereaved families will be held before the road re-opens and Cllr Tierney hopes it will be of some comfort to those who have had loved ones die on the stretch of road. The Gypsy Bends section saw 23 accidents and five fatalities between January 2005 and December 2009.

The Blackspot Service is provisionally planned for Sunday October 10 and will be taken by Dave Chapman, Minister at the Fenlands Church, Tydd Gote.

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