Safety barriers could be installed at two hazardous Fenland bends to help save lives
PUBLISHED: 16:55 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:55 08 August 2019
Safety barriers costing more than £70,000 could be installed on hazardous bends that have claimed the lives of drivers in Fenland.
The Fenland Road Safety Campaign Charlotte's Way (FRSC) say they have secured "massive backing" for their Local Highways Improvement (LHI) funding bid.
The Honey Farm Bend, on the B1098 Sixteen Foot between Chatteris and Manea, and Sixteen Foot Bank would both see the barriers installed if Cambridgeshire County Council give the go ahead.
It comes as the accident blackspots have tragically claimed the lives of women over the past two decades, including a young mother in 1994 and a 54-year-old in 2017.
Local businesses, residents and councillors have now backed campaigners in their bid by donating to the scheme.
The FRSC initially put £10,000, followed by a £25,000 match-funding pledge by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite and £10,000 from haulage company Mick George.
Chair of FRSC Graham Chappell said the bends were "forgotten corners of Fenland".
"Quite simply, we cannot thank Mick George, Jason Ablewhite, and all concerned for the support they have so kindly and generously given to the bid," he said.
"They have strengthened the chances of success immeasurably, and achieving that will make these long overlooked 'forgotten corners' of Fenland, safe, and free from the threat of further unnecessary loss of life."
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Other supporters of the scheme have included North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay, Mayor of March Rob Skoulding and family and friends of those who had died.
Mr Barclay said: "This is an opportunity to work together collectively to improve road safety by installing safety barriers to prevent any further loss of life.
"While the safety barrier installation in Bedlam Bridge junction in 2012 has had a positive impact, there is still work to be done locally to improve road safety.
"That further deaths have occurred along Fen roads in my constituency is a tragedy."
It was advised last year that the best way to secure the money needed for the barriers - in excess of £70,000 - would be to seek funding through a LHI scheme.
Stuart Costello, marketing director at Mick George, said: "As a business, we always look to support road safety initiatives across the county.
"We are pleased to be working closely with The Fenland Road Safety Campaign helping raise the much-needed funds to install safety barriers at the Honey Farm Bend.
"The efforts that have gone in to raising the awareness and importance of these road safety improvements by all involved in the funding bid should be applauded, and we are happy to donate £10,000 towards it."
Jason Ablewhite, police and crime commissioner, added: "Life-saving schemes such as this where there is a clear need and evidence based solutions are projects the we are happy to support."