Postbag: County council must act now!

PUBLISHED: 11:57 06 January 2006 | UPDATED: 13:21 28 May 2010

I READ with horror of another fatal accident on the Forty Foot. My heartfelt sympathies go to the family and friends of those who so tragically died. And for the accident to have occurred during the festive season is the cruellest of fate. I understand th

I READ with horror of another fatal accident on the Forty Foot. My heartfelt sympathies go to the family and friends of those who so tragically died. And for the accident to have occurred during the festive season is the cruellest of fate.

I understand that since January 2000 there have been 27 accidents on the Forty Foot, with nine cars known to have entered the water and fatalities have now reached four.

This is quite simply not acceptable. The County Council needs to do something now.

Whenever I get the opportunity at Chatteris Town Council, I raise the question of safety along the Forty Foot. The generally accepted excuse for the dangerous state of the road is that it is "too difficult" to provided reflective crash barriers nor adequate lighting because of ground movement.

There is a tradition, dating back centuries, of finding engineering solutions for construction on land where firm foundations can not be achieved.

As a family we regularly holiday in Holland. The Dutch don't leave roads beside dikes exposed and dangerous, so why can't it be done here? In fact the Dutch appear miraculously able to provide safe cycle ways and footpaths as well.

For centuries it was believed that draining the fens was too difficult, until Vermuyden proved it could be done. Well if the county council engineers feel that making the Forty Foot safe is too difficult, I respectfully suggest that they go to Holland and ask the Dutch engineers for help.

I suspect the real reason nothing has happened, is because of a lack of political will. Through your pages, I call on our county councillors to ensure action is taken now.

Provision of proper road safety is not a luxury but a necessity. How many more tragedies need to occur before this avoidable situation is resolved?

CHRIS HOWES, Chatteris Town Councillor, Pound Road, Chatteris

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