THE Hunts Post campaign to stop deaths on the Forty Foot Bank Road now has government backing. The campaign was launched in February to reduce the speed limit and install average speed cameras on the deadly road between Ramsey and Chatteris. Hundreds of r
THE Hunts Post campaign to stop deaths on the Forty Foot Bank Road now has government backing.
The campaign was launched in February to reduce the speed limit and install average speed cameras on the deadly road between Ramsey and Chatteris.
Hundreds of readers have responded to an on-line poll, calling for average speed cameras, a speed limit reduced to 30mph, street lighting and a ban on overtaking.
The Department of Transport has now asked councils across England to review speed limits on all roads. It notes that 64 per cent of deaths are on country roads, though most accidents occur in cities.
The Forty Foot Bank Road has a 50mph speed limit on an unlit narrow road with a ditch on one side and a river on the other. It claimed five lives in six weeks between December 20 and February 1 last winter. Two cars went into the river in separate incidents. These were two of 13 injury accidents there in the past three years.
The two fatal accidents were in darkness, one around 5am and one around 5pm. Just four days before Christmas, on December 21, father and son, Dean Hawes, 27 and Jordan, aged seven, drowned when their car went into the river.
On February 1, another car, with four Portuguese workers on their way to a factory, plunged into the water at 5am.
Three people drowned, Jose Marmeleira, 49, Carlos Condecco, 46 and Cidalina de Oliveria, 56. Mrs de Oliveria had come to England to help support her grandson through university.
The fourth passenger, Jose's 19-year-old son Miguel, managed to swim to safety after his father drowned.
A campaign was launched by Ramsey and Chatteris town councillors and local newspapers, including The Hunts Post and its sister paper, The Cambs Times.
Speed checks on the Forty Foot Bank Road in March found that 82 per cent of drivers broke the speed limit, some doing 90 and even 118mph.
Since the launch of its campaign in February, The Hunts Post has kept an on-line readers' poll on its website. For the past seven months, right up to the time of going to press, there has been a daily response from readers, with hundreds calling for a 30mph speed limit on the road, street lighting, an overtaking ban and average speed cameras. This is the biggest response ever to a poll by this newspaper and 90 per cent of the readers who have responded want action.
In May, the county council announced proposals for average speed cameras along the road to be installed next year - but warned that the proposal would be up against other projects on other roads regarded as equally deadly.
The scheme was costed at between £250,000 to £300,000.
Last week, county councillors (the Huntingdonshire Traffic Management Area Joint Committee) backed a list of schemes,