Safety junction may finally see the light

A TRAFFIC-light-controlled junction on the A141 where teenager Warren Hay was tragically killed in May now looks a real possibility. Cambridgeshire County Council s cabinet is set to approve a £160,000 improvement scheme next week, but the project will b

A TRAFFIC-light-controlled junction on the A141 where teenager Warren Hay was tragically killed in May now looks a real possibility.

Cambridgeshire County Council's cabinet is set to approve a £160,000 improvement scheme next week, but the project will be upgraded to a light-controlled junction if two other councils stump up money, as recommended by the county's coroner.

Plans to ban right turns into and out of Kings Ripton Road in Huntingdon, using a central raised island is one of just four to have made it onto a priority list of safety schemes.

The £300,000-400,000 light-controlled scheme would have ranked 14th and missed out on funding, in spite of eight other accidents in the past three years, The Hunts Post believes.


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But this week the county's executive member for transport, Councillor Mac McGuire, from Sawtry, pleaded with Huntingdonshire District Council and Huntingdon Town Council for match-funding to deliver the better scheme, which would provide additional road safety benefits.

His call follows a letter from coroner David Morris who also called upon the Huntingdonshire councils to look at helping fund a scheme, after safety advice given by the county council was ignored at the planning stages for the park in the early 1990s.

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Cllr McGuire said: "I have made sure this scheme has been fast tracked through the process and the county council has done all it can to produce a scheme that would score high enough to receive funding.

"I have said all along that, once funding is secured in this way, I would welcome any further money to improve on the scheme to include traffic lights with pedestrian crossing facilities.

"Now is the time for Huntingdonshire District Council and Huntingdon Town Council to look at their own finances and listen to the coroner. The county council is looking to put forward its share and is in talks with a local landowner over the creation of a path to the recreation ground.

"If this scheme is to move forward then the councils need to make a decision soon so that the detailed plans can be drawn up," he added.

"I will be urging my cabinet colleagues to back my plea at our meeting on December 18, and I intend to send a letter to both councils calling them to consider how they could help fund the scheme."

Neither Huntingdonshire council has formally considered the issue, but members of both authorities are believed to be prepared to put cash behind it, possibly £100,000 or more between them.

In addition, the Warren Hay Safety Action Group has been raising money, though so far in small amounts compared with the total cost of the scheme.

The Hunts Post is also intent on helping with the fundraising and will be holding an auction of signed football souvenirs in the new year.

Sixteen-year-old Warren was crossing the A141 on the way to Jubilee Park football pitches when he was struck by a car. He died five days later in hospital.

Landowner Lord de Ramsey, who lives in Abbots Ripton Hall, has offered to provide a footpath alongside Kings Ripton Road if the junction improvements go ahead.

Warren's mother, Maxine, told The Hunts Post she was really pleased things were moving forward. She said: "The crossing is a reasonable option as it deals with all aspects that can make the road safe for pedestrians. It will slow down traffic and offer a safe crossing for people.

"We urge the town and district councils to support the scheme financially."

Mrs Hay added that the action group would not give up its fight and would continue fundraising until a safe crossing was provided. "We will not go away until the road is made safe for pedestrians."

The action group has so far collected 17,500 signatures and will be selling t-shirts in Tesco in Huntingdon on Saturday, December 22 to raise funds for the campaign.

INFORMATION: To support the Warren Hay Action Group phone John Dunleavy on 01480 350507.

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