Victory for campaigners as Roads Minister orders sign to install on A47 for Thorney Toll Village Hall
16:38 12 April 2012
SIGNS warning of a hidden entrance off the A47 in the Fens have been ordered by the Highways Agency - to the delight of Steve Barclay MP.
In a letter to the NE Cambs MP, Roads Minister Mike Penning confirmed that a sign will be installed at Thorney Toll Village Hall some time within the next 12 months.
It comes after a campaign launched in April last year when the Highways Agency refused to take any action against villagers’ concerns regarding the access to the village hall and Linden Close, off the A47.
In his latest blog Mr Barclay said: “I am delighted to report the good news, which arrived today in a letter from the Minister.
“The letter confirms that the Highways Agency have been instructed to install the signage at their own cost and that the new sign is to be expected by this time next year.
“Today’s news follows a number of meetings and letters between myself, the Highways Agency and the Roads Minister and is excellent news for the residents of Thorney Toll, who can look forward to a critical improvement to road safety after a year of campaigning.”
Mr Barclay led calls for improvements after visiting a fun day at the village hall last April as part of the Royal Wedding celebrations, where he met Councillor John Fish, the representative for Thorney Toll on Wisbech St Mary Parish Council.
The speed camera along the A47 at Thorney Toll was also reactivated by the Highways Agency after lobbying by Mr Barclay on behalf of residents.
Mr Barclay said that he is still concerned, however, about the value for money issue surrounding the cost of the sign.
“The initial quote for the signage was given at £30,000 (including £12,000 in “design costs”),” he said.
“Given the number of schemes undertaken by the Highways Agency, inflated costs have a significant cumulative impact to the taxpayer and I will be keeping a close interest in the matter.”
Responding to a comment on Twitter that a year is a long time to wait for a sign which would most likely take just 10 minutes to install, Mr Barclay said: “Agree and let’s hope it’s much quicker. Still a U-turn given Highways’ earlier stance and good that local voice has been heard.”