Speed limits are put back in place along riverside road near Christchurch on the seventh anniversary of the death of Charlotte Walker

Twenty foot bank. 50mph speed restriction signs installed. Picture: Steve Williams.

Twenty foot bank. 50mph speed restriction signs installed. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Seven years after the death of a nine year old girl sparked a road safety campaign, speed limit signs have been reinstated on the road where she died.

Charlotte Walker should have been 16 this year but she died when the car she was travelling in left the road and plunged into the Sixteen Foot in 2008.

Her death prompted the launch of the Fenland Road Safety Campaign (Charlotte’s Way) which has seen successful safety improvements across the Fens.

This week 50mph signs, which were taken down when it was felt the limit could not be enforced, were once again put back in place alongside the stretch of water where she died.

Campaign organiser Graham Chappell said: “Something truly remarkable has happened on the Sixteen Foot Bank Road. The re-establishment of a 50mph speed limit has been signalled on the riverside stretch of the road, with the installation of posts and 50mph repeater signs, along the entire riverside length of the road at least as far south as Bedlam Bridge.

“It’s a very welcome development, which has happened thanks to the initiative and persistence of former Christchurch parish council chair and local district councillor Will Sutton and the tireless behind the scenes work of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways safety chief Amanda Mays.

“Enforcement and tackling the behaviour of the inevitable few who may be tempted to flout the speed limit may remain an issue but it has to be right that a 50mph limit gives a better guide to law abiding motorists as to the need for more care than usual when using a road with such a significant hazard.”

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He said the “extraordinary development” emerged as a possibility in June last year, when he joined Miss Mays and Cllr Sutton on a visit to Padgetts Road, Upwell Road and Sixteen Foot Road to explore road safety at these junctions.

“The speed limit on the Sixteen Foot, which was reduced to 50mph, had never been legally changed back to 60mph, despite the previously installed 50mph signs having been removed on the Sixteen Foot, due to a lack of will at the time, to deal with enforcement issues.

“This meant it would simply require re-installation of 50mph repeater signs to make the 50mph limit enforceable again,” he said.

On other Fenland river roads the campaign has successfully seen average speed camera system installed on the Forty Foot on the way to Ramsey and a substantial safety barrier and 40mph speed limits installed on the North Bank Road near Whittlesey.