'Forgotten corner of Fenland' becomes safe at last
- Credit: Graham Chappell
A safety barrier has been installed at the southern Honey Farm Bend on the Sixteen Foot Bank Road near March following two deaths.
Graham Chappell of Fenland Road Safety Campaign Charlotte’s Way, described the bend as a “forgotten corner of Fenland”.
Graham said his campaign stepped up four years ago following the death of Sharon Taylor, of Sutton in the Isle.
“She was involved in a single vehicle immersion accident when on her way to a Sunday car boot.
“We’ve finally achieved this vital safety measure for the benefit of the community and all future travellers on the road.”
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The barrier was installed by Ashley and Stuart who work for Arbus Ltd of Burwell.
Stuart lives in Upwell, so knew all too well of the history of previous fatal crashes in the area.
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“He sadly recalled the loss of Charlotte Walker in 2008 which led to the foundation of the Fenland Road Safety Campaign (Charlotte’s Way) by myself and Charlotte’s dad, Andy Walker,” said Graham.
The campaign, coordinated through FRSC (Charlotte’s Way) as a joint local highways improvement (LHI) bid scheme in July 2019, had support from businesses, with some donating to the fund.
“Mick George Ltd donated £10,000 and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office matched funding of up to £25,000,” said Graham.
“Additional donations were kindly received from the charitable fund of Cllr Rob Skoulding and March Amateur Boxing Club.”
Approval of the southern Honey Farm bend barrier was confirmed by Cambridgeshire County Council in March 2020 with a projected cost of no more than £38,000, with £15,000 coming from CCC.
They also promised to explore the feasibility of the installation of barriers on the northern bend of the road further.
Due to the Covid pandemic, there were major complications with the installation, including a dramatic rise in the cost of up to £60,000 for the southern bend installation alone.
This meant that the maximum funding total of around £70,000 available to the bid scheme that had been anticipated would cover installations to both the southern and northern bends, would now only be sufficient for one bend.
Graham hopes a site visit arranged for November with the county highways office may resolve at least some of the technical concerns regarding the northern bend.