Ramsey Forty Foot: Average speed cameras at last

AVERAGE speed cameras for the deadly Forty Foot Road between Ramsey and Chatteris should finally be installed by the end of March. The cameras are part of safety measures campaigned for after five people died along the road during the winter of 2005 to 2

AVERAGE speed cameras for the deadly Forty Foot Road between Ramsey and Chatteris should finally be installed by the end of March.

The cameras are part of safety measures campaigned for after five people died along the road during the winter of 2005 to 2006 in just six weeks.

The narrow, unlit road with a river on one side and a deep ditch on the other, was first built in the 17th century when the Fens were drained, part of a 70-mile network of bumpy, shifting tracks.

An accident on the evening of December 21, 2005 took the lives of a young father and son, aged 27 and seven who died when their car went into the water. The second accident, taking three lives, was in the early morning of February 1 2006 when three Portugese workers driving to work at a vegetable factory drowned in the river. A fourth person, the son of the driver, managed to swim to the bank and survived.


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Shailesh Vara, the MP for North West Cambridgeshire, who, like The Hunts Post and its sister paper The Cambs Times campaigned fiercely for safety measures, said on Thursday: "I said four years ago that doing nothing was not an option. I raised this at the highest levels of government. I am delighted that finally we have the go-ahead for these improvements. People may say that drivers should take responsibility but when those drivers are killed, whole families have their lives destroyed."

The new date is exactly a year later than Cambridgeshire Council Council first promised. The project was supposed to have been completed by April this year. It was delayed by the wait for Home Office approval for the latest design of camera - one more suitable for the shifting and unstable ground that is the Forty Foot bank.

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According to the county council, this is the first time the cameras have been used along a waterside road.

Work started in November to install the equipment after receiving assurances from the Home Office that the approval was a government priority.

A council spokesman said: "The council wants to use this latest technology, as installation is less intrusive and will minimise damage to the already unstable banks along the Forty Foot which partly collapsed last year. Engineers completed the first phase of works earlier this year, which included localised widening of the embankment."

He added: "Many of the accidents along the Forty Foot involved motorists driving at high speeds or carrying out dangerous manoeuvres. One driver was caught doing over 100mph along the 50mph road.

"The news means works can be completed and handed over to the utility companies (EDF) so they can finish their connections.

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