Speed cameras in doubt

AVERAGE speed cameras may not be installed on the Forty Foot Bank road, north of Ramsey, because more people have been killed and injured on other Cambridgeshire roads. Proposals for improved safety on the road were put forward after a Hunts Post campaign

AVERAGE speed cameras may not be installed on the Forty Foot Bank road, north of Ramsey, because more people have been killed and injured on other Cambridgeshire roads.

Proposals for improved safety on the road were put forward after a Hunts Post campaign was set up following the deaths of five people in two separate accidents.

However, Louise Collier, the county council's transport network manager for the area, said that, on the basis of last year's experience, the road would not score highly enough to qualify for a share of the road safety cash.

She told Huntingdonshire's traffic management committee the lowest scoring of the five schemes to qualify last year was the £185,000 traffic calming project for Sawtry, which scored 5.4 on the basis of preventable casualties. The safety record of Forty Foot Bank would rank it at just 4.0.


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In spite of the five deaths by drowning in six weeks at the turn of the year in the drain that runs alongside the road, the road has claimed fewer casualties than four other stretches in the north of the county that will also be considered for a share of the casualty reduction budget.

In the five years to the end of 2005, the A1101 north of Wisbech claimed nine lives and a total of 78 casualties. There were 135 casualties on the A605 near Whittlesey, including four deaths, over the same period, whereas the Forty Foot Bank played host to 28 incidents, three fatal.

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Campaigners for speed cameras on the road claim the county's statistics ignore an incident in early February in which three Portuguese workers drowned when their car left the road after a collision. But the figures also exclude accidents on the other roads this year.

At a meeting of Huntingdonshire's traffic management committee on Monday, most members accepted that the limited funds should be spent where they would save most lives.

The principal problem at Forty Foot Bank was speed, Ms Collier said. In a recent survey one car was clocked on the 50mph-limit road at 118mph and another at more than 90mph.

"A lot of the time accidents happen when people decide to overtake or, on the Forty Foot, do not manage to negotiate the one bend," she said.

County council chairman Councillor Susan Normington, who represents Ramsey, said speed was "antisocial, selfish and should be seen as that. Residents are amazed at the speeds people go along it."

After the meeting, she added that traffic speeds had increased noticeably since the road surface had been improved.

County cabinet member Mac McGuire and other councillors blamed bad driving for the casualty record.

Councillor Nick Guyatt, who is responsible for transport in Huntingdonshire, said speeds as high as 80mph had recently been recorded within the village of Wansford. "It's not just themselves that they kill," he said.

INFORMATION: A final decision on where the county's road safety money should be spent will be made in December.

* Would you pay more tax to improve safety on the Forty Foot road?

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