MP wants urgent talks with Peterborough City Council to progress calls for North Bank safety barrier

North Bank Whittlesey

North Bank Whittlesey - Credit: Archant

An MP is planning talks with the leader of Peterborough City Council Marco Cereste to speed up plans for a safety barrier alongside a Fenland river following the death of an 18 year-old driver.

Brakespeare pictures for 24/02/12. Marco Cereste, leader, Peterborough City Council

Brakespeare pictures for 24/02/12. Marco Cereste, leader, Peterborough City Council - Credit: Archant

Hannah Yates died earlier this month when her car veered off a blind bend on the North Bank between Whittlesey and Peterborough and plunged into the River Nene. It was the same spot where another motorist died last year.

MP Steve Barclay

MP Steve Barclay - Credit: Archant

Steve Barclay, the MP for NE Cambs, said he had requested a meeting with Mr Cereste and Whittlesey town councillor Gary Swan “amidst continued road safety concerns”.

The MP said he had signed a petition set up by local residents calling for safety measures such as barriers, extra lighting and speed cameras to limit the number of accidents on the road.

Mr Barclay said: “It is tragic that another family in my constituency is now grieving for a loved one following a further accident in this dangerous area of the North Bank Road. It is now vitally important that council action is taken to improve safety and prevent this kind of incident happening again.”

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“I am looking forward to meeting with the leader of Peterborough Council to discuss the appropriate response in terms of road safety measures which needs to be taken as soon as possible. It is very encouraging to see that the community has come together behind this online petition to call for joint action.”

The petition entitled ‘North Bank Road let’s make it safe let’s save lives’ has already received 1,894 signatures.

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The Fenland Road Safety Campaign, began by Graham Chappell after a friend lost his daughter in a river drain accident, is backing the North Bank initiative.

His earlier campaign involved raising part of the cash needed for safety barriers at Bedlam Bridge near March near to where his friend’s daughter died and he is busily raising money for a North Bank barrier.

Mr Chappell said: “There have been a number of fatal accidents on the road and this must be stopped.”

He said the North Bank road was unlit, had an unrestricted speed limit, was close to the river and was particularly dangerous.

His group has already raised money towards a £5,000 target which he hoped could be then paid over to the city council. Other parties are being sought to help fund the estimated £45,000 cost of a 250m length of barrier.

Mr Barclay added: “Road safety should be a top priority in Cambridgeshire and I am very glad to be able to lend my support to these efforts to put a stop to accidents on our roads.”

Mr Swan said: “We have been aware that this is a dangerous road for many years now, and I am glad that Steve is arranging for us to meet with the council with a view to implementing long –overdue safety measures.

“It is a sad fact that many of those involved in fatalities and accidents on this narrow stretch of road are Whittlesey residents. I expect to take the opportunity to discuss the proven benefits of speed cameras in reducing accident rates and look forward to seeing progress made on cutting down on these risks.”

Simon Machen, director of growth and regeneration at Peterborough City Council, said: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to Hannah Yates’ family.

“I and Councillor Matthew Dalton would like to meet with our colleagues at Cambridgeshire County Council and the Fenland Road Safety Campaign to discuss and review safety issues.”

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