Work begins on installing North Bank Road safety barrier

Barriers being installed on the North Bank river road Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams. Barriers being installed on the North Bank river road Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
12:35 PM

Work has started on installing a 250-metre safety barrier along the North Bank Road which has seen two deaths and numerous close escapes since the beginning of last month.

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Barriers being installed on the North Bank river road Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.Barriers being installed on the North Bank river road Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

The road has been closed since yesterday so contractors operating on behalf of Peterborough City Council, who are funding the £50,000 project, can install the life-saving barrier, which will prevent vehicles from crashing into the River Nene.

It is hoped the barrier will be installed by the end of the week.

Simon Machen, director of growth and regeneration at Peterborough City Council, said: “We’re hoping to have a good run of weather to allow us to get the installation completed as quickly as possible and we anticipate the barrier will be in place on the bend by the end of the week.”

Hannah Yates, 18, drowned when her car plunged into the River Nene on November 3.

Barriers being installed on the North Bank river road Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.Barriers being installed on the North Bank river road Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

On December 2, the body of Keith Pettitt, 50, of Corby, was pulled from the river after his Skoda was spotted partially submerged.

Three other vehicles also went into the River Nene at the same spot three weeks ago in separate incidents and all eight occupants escaped.

Peterborough City Council are also considering installing red reflective red studs in the road and making the temporary 40 mph speed limit permanent.

But they say they can’t afford to install an average speed camera system, which would cost £400,000.

Barriers being installed on the North Bank river road Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.Barriers being installed on the North Bank river road Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

However, were external funding to be found, they would install cameras.

Graham Chappell, Fenland Road Safety Campaign founder, expressed his delight at the news but insisted the campaign’s work is not done.

The group will continue to push for an average speed camera system on the stretch of road.

He said: “Our various fund-raising events will be proceeding as planned, as our work for the North Bank is not yet done, but a significant achievement has been secured.

“This has been thanks to the overwhelming strength of support given by all those who care about what has happened here and are keen to see that preventable river immersion accidents, and deaths, no longer occur on the North Bank’s notorious ‘blind bend’.”

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