Posts tested along accident blackspot as Fenland Road Safety Campaign makes impact

TESTING has been carried out on posts along a Fenland accident blackspot as the campaign to install safety barriers continues to accelerate.

Yesterday’s tests saw Cambridgeshire County Council officers join workers from contractors Carillion to check the test posts, which were put in place last month along the Sixteen Foot Drain, near Bedlam Bridge.

Seven out of eight of the posts passed their impact tests, handling seven tonnes of pressure from a special hydraulic machine. Designs can now be drawn up for the possible installation of safety barriers.

The Fenland Road Safety Campaign (Charlotte’s Way), set up by campaigner Graham Chappell, has already led to rumble strips being laid along the waterside carriage of North Bank, Whittlesey.

The death of nine-year-old Charlotte Walker in 2008 sparked the campaign after the car she was travelling in plunged into the icy rivers of the Sixteen Foot.

Mr Chappell said: “I was out there from 8am. It was a big day and thanks to it I’m not sitting here wondering what the results were or what the level of commitment was. There is clearly interest in getting these barriers.

“Everybody understands that we have to take this one step at a time to tackle a location with a proven history of accidents and risk.

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“The next step is that the contractors will process the data and will put together a design for barrier installation. The design will then be costed.

“We have �5,000 immediately available and we are keen to see to what extent the council will contribute. We have been very heartened and very pleased with the efforts that are being made.”

A cheque for �5,000 has already been presented to the county council by Mr Chappell, who completed a gruelling 360-mile cycle ride to boost funds for the campaign.

A further �2,000 was raised at a charity race night and auction held at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel in March. The estimated cost of each barrier is around �8,000.

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