Six-crash victim despairs of road safety affordability

AN elderly St Ives widow, who has had cars crash into her house and garden six times, has little faith in the highway authority being able to afford to improve road safety.

Brenda Brunt, 83, who lives in Norfolk Road, was one of more than 140 people who signed a petition asking the Huntingdonshire traffic management committee to make safety improvements to Marley Road, especially at the junctions of Norfolk and Burleigh Road, following a number of accidents and many near-misses.

At its meeting in St Neots on Monday, the committee agreed to ask traffic engineers to investigate the cost of improvements and possible ways of paying for them, and to report back to the next meeting in January.

But one of the first thing Cambridgeshire County Council must do is replace the lamp post outside Mrs Brunt’s house for the third time in 18 months, according to Norfolk Road neighbour Pat Cook.

“If we had known that Marley Road was classified as an accident black spot in the 2006 St Ives market town transport strategy at the time – we found out only recently – we would have raised it at the appeal against the petrol station in Constable Road,” she added. “Fuel tankers and accident black spots don’t mix.”

The Anglia Co-op, which owns the Rainbow supermarket in Constable Road, won a recent appeal against Huntingdonshire District Council’s refusal to renew an expired planning permission for a petrol station on the site.

Mrs Brunt, who has lived in Norfolk Road for 27 years, said her first intruder was a car that knocked bricks out of one side of her garage. “There have been five more since then,” she told The Hunts Post.

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“One turned over and hit my bedroom wall. I was in bed at the time. The 18-year-old driver had to be cut out and he’s never driven since.”

She said most accidents involved young people and happened either at night or on their way to work in the morning.

“But I don’t think they have any money to do anything – though they did listen.”

Mrs Brunt said the speed limited in Marley Road was 30mph when she and her late husband moved into their home.

“They changed it from 30 to 40 and put ‘Slow’ on the road – it was the daftest thing.”