Victory for campaigners as accident blackspot is set as the top priority in a list of safety schemes

PUBLISHED: 13:27 16 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:25 02 June 2010

The A1101 Sutton Road Campaigjn Team at Shire Hall

The A1101 Sutton Road Campaigjn Team at Shire Hall

A TEAM who have been fighting for vital road safety work on the A1101 Sutton Road blackspot have spoken of their delight that the first phase of their campaign is complete. The A1101 Sutton Road Campaign Team presented a petition to Cambridgeshire County

A TEAM who have been fighting for vital road safety work on the A1101 Sutton Road blackspot have spoken of their delight that the first phase of their campaign is complete.

The A1101 Sutton Road Campaign Team presented a petition to Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet on Tuesday, where it was announced that a £300,000 bid for remedial works had been set as the top priority in a list of safety schemes.

The scheme suggests reconstructing the Gypsy Bends on the A1101 near Wisbech, to reduce the risk of drivers losing control as well as putting solid, double white lines down the centre to reduce people overtaking.

The bends are one of the worst accident sites in the county having seen 11 accidents resulting in five fatalities and 12 other people suffering injuries, between June 2006 and May 2009.

Campaigner Virginia Bucknor said: "We handed a petition to the cabinet and also gave a three-minute speech.

"The campaign team are very pleased with the support we are now receiving from the councillors and are delighted that this bid is likely to go ahead.

"We regard this as the first phase of our campaign completed.

"These remedial work will involve slight widening of the road and super-elevation of the camber. Unfortunately these measures do not allow for policing of the road and we want to see a speed reduction to 40mph at the black spot.

"By the council's own statistics, it's projected that a further two fatal or serious accidents will occur before work even commences.

"We therefore requested that in the meantime passively safe chevrons signs could be installed on the bend.

"These are cost-effective and quick to erect. This small intervention whilst we wait for the more sophisticated engineering work to begin could help to avert further tragedies."

She added: "Amanda Mays, officer responsible for engineering advised the committee that reflective posts would be installed as a temporary measure but they were investigating the chevron signs."

Measures have already been taken on the A1101 near Wisbech, including increased warning signs and better enforcement.

The council said that while those design and preparation works are being carried out new marker posts will be installed at the bends to make them more obvious to drivers. In addition council road safety engineers have listened to local campaigners' ideas and are looking at also installing flexible chevron signs.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mac McGuire, deputy leader and Cabinet Member for Highways and Access, said: "I attended a public meeting recently of residents along this route and gave my commitment that I would do what I could to make this scheme our first priority. The accident record at these bends speaks for itself and I strongly support this scheme going ahead.

"Reducing accidents, especially on the A1101, must be a top priority and the council with its partners, such as the police, will continue to work together to reduce accidents.

"Following the cabinet's decision I will be asking the Service Director for Highways and Access to take all practical steps to introduce this safety scheme in as short a timescale as possible."

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Steve Tierney, councillor for Roman Bank and Peckover, said: "I would like to praise the efforts of local residents for so passionately and eloquently arguing their case and for officers and cabinet members for listening. I hope this work is started as soon as possible.


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