Forty Foot Road: Five deaths in six weeks
PUBLISHED: 13:42 17 February 2006 | UPDATED: 21:42 28 May 2010
CLOSE the killer road alongside the Forty Foot Drain once and for all, says Councillor Alan Melton who has dismissed ideas for erecting crash barriers and speed cameras in favour of making the road access only . The Forty Foot Bank road, which stretches
CLOSE the killer road alongside the Forty Foot Drain once and for all, says Councillor Alan Melton who has dismissed ideas for erecting crash barriers and speed cameras in favour of making the road 'access only'.
The Forty Foot Bank road, which stretches from just north of Chatteris to the village of Ramsey Forty Foot, is currently the most talked-about stretch of road in the Fens after two horrific accidents robbed five people of their lives in just six weeks between December and February.
The public are baying for action, but Cambridgeshire County Council officials are pleading for sanity to prevail and stressing that Fen drain roads normally claim only one life each year.
They insist the soft Fenland soil makes it impossible to erect crash barriers or speed cameras alongside the five-metre deep drain, claiming to do so would soak up the entire county road repairs budget.
Cllr Melton, who represents Chatteris on Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire Council, said: "Residents have been calling for this road to become access-only for years.
"I'm not talking about tomorrow, but within 10 to 15 years, with the building of the A605/A141 roundabout at Goosetree and subsequently the Whittlesey bypass we would have a straight, safe, major route to Peterborough.
"With the predicted growth in Fenland towns there is no reason why this bypass could not be developer funded.
"We have got to stop the Forty Foot road being used as a cut through to Peterborough by 44-tonne lorries and fast powerful cars.
"This is a road built for horses and carts, not drivers who insist on hurtling down here at 90mph.
"Whilst I cannot comment on the cause of the most recent deaths, I do know that speeding traffic is a nightmare for those living along here."
Cllr Melton said the 25-metre wide drain had to be dredged regularly and was getting wider and wider eating away at the bank, bringing the water ever closer to the road.