Work to start soon along A1101 near Wisbech, a notorious Fenland blackspot

ROAD safety campaigners are celebrating after news that engineering work costing �350,000 will begin in one month at a notorious Fenland blackspot.

The Accident Blackspot Team has battled for two years to pressure Cambridgeshire County Council into making improvements to the A1101 Sutton Road near Wisbech along a 250-metre stretch close to Gypsy Lane.

Campaigner Virginia Bucknor said: “We always said we would never give up but what they didn’t realise is that we meant it.

“We made ourselves a nuisance, we lost count of how many presentations and meetings we did and it has been really, really tough, but if we can save lives it has all been worth it.

“Before we started we knew the accident figures were bad but we didn’t know they were the worst in Cambridgeshire and possibly the country and yet they were not doing anything about it.”

The work will include widening at some points, reprofiling of the carriageway and resurfacing to provide improved skid resistance.

Campaigners have already achieved better signage around the Gypsy Bends, a 40mph advisory area and chevrons warning drivers in advance they are approaching the bends.

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Mrs Bucknor said: “We believe it will significantly reduce the number of deaths and we are all very pleased that the county council has been able to keep its promise of upgrading the road despite the financial pressures it is under.”

She also paid tribute to pensioner Roy Ashton who funded the printing of 10,000 leaflets asking people to support the campaign. Mr Ashton’s wife Sadet (Sue) died in an accident on the bends in 2008.

Mrs Bucknor said: “After Roy funded the leaflets it meant that when we were out with police talking to drivers, 99 per cent of them already knew about the campaign. We also have to thank the media, local press and some councillors who really helped.”

Work is due to start on September 13 and road closure will be necessary for around 10 days starting on October 4. People who live in the immediate area will be able to access their homes.

The county council has admitted the closure will involve an extensive diversion route but says there is no good time to carry out the work. During the summer holidays, when roads are quieter, the A1101 is a popular route to the coast.