Community Roadwatch group fight to 'Make Sawtry Way Safer'

David McCandless examines the damaged surfaces of the Sawtry Way footpath following its initial widening.

David McCandless examines the damaged surfaces of the Sawtry Way footpath following its initial widening. - Credit: David McCandless

Following a successful campaign to widen a footpath on Sawtry Way, a local community road safety group is now asking Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) for path repairs.

The group, known as Community Roadwatch (CRW), spent four years campaigning for the "dangerously narrow" footpath to be extended, which was completed at the end of February.

The footpath was overgrown down to 18" in places but has now been widened to 54" by CCC as part of maintenance work.

However, the widening of the path has left piles of sods and exposed damage which the council has not said it will repair.

David McCandless from the CRW group said: “Getting the path widened in February – whilst awaiting the decision about the 40 zones across the estate exits - was a good positive start to the installation of our multi-faceted Sawtry Way project.

“Unfortunately, removal of the path’s overgrowth has exposed a very badly damaged surface with deep, long potholes that will now need repairing by the County Council along with feathering of the raised grass edges, where the overgrowth has just been pushed back, lest they cause cycle riders a serious problem.”

The group had previously campaigned to widen the path because it is close to a busy and fast carriageway, and children and parents regularly use it.

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The campaign formed part of the group's multi-faceted 'Make Sawtry Way Safer' campaign which included reducing the speed limit on the road.

Three Local Highway Improvement applications were submitted by David and the CRW, asking CCC for funding to reduce the speed limits from 60 and 50mph.

The CRW raised money through generous donations to boost their application, which was approved in June, but the decision was then reversed in November.

Objections from the CRW and members of the public have delayed the council from enforcing a 50mph speed limit, with a final decision expected soon.

A CCC spokesperson said: “Discussions on the speed limit are ongoing, and a decision is expected to be made by the council in the coming weeks. This will take into account the council’s road speed policies and all feedback we have received.

“There is currently no maintenance planned for the area. Potholes can be reported to us through our website by visiting: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/roads-and-pathways/roadworks-and-faults."