Danger road poised to have speed cameras

Plans to introduce hi-tech speed cameras along a notorious road in the fens look set to be approved next week.

Plans to introduce hi-tech speed cameras along a notorious road in the fens look set to be approved next week.

Council chiefs are being recommended to install the "average speed" cameras along the Forty Foot Drain, near Ramsey Forty Foot, which has claimed five lives this year.

If members of Cambridgeshire County Council cabinet agree, then work could start on the scheme next year, depending on government funding.

It will be first time that cameras of this type have been used in the county to reduce accidents along riverside roads.

Following two tragic accidents, officers at the council carried out an in-depth study and recommended putting the speed cameras along the 7.5km long stretch of road.

Council investigations revealed that the majority of accidents along the road between Chatteris and Ramsey involved excess speed and were down to drivers losing control while overtaking.

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Only last month a driver was banned for 56 days after he admitted speeding at more than 100mph along the notorious stretch of road.

The cameras could cost about £300,000 and would work by calculating the average speed of a motorist from the start to the end of the road.

The scheme could see the installation of four sets of safety cameras along the relatively straight stretch of road from Doddington Road to the Forty Foot Bridge.

There are also plans to launch a driver education campaign.

Plans to install a barrier system were deemed unworkable due to the nature of the river bank and would not prevent the accident in the first place.

Evidence had suggested that the barriers encouraged people to overtake or speed because they felt safer.

Councillor Mac McGuire, lead member for Highways, said: "It is quite clear that some motorists are prepared to drive at horrendous speeds along the Forty Foot without any consideration of other motorists or the consequences of their

actions.

"I am pleased I can recommend that this scheme be made a top priority for this council and that we should start work on it as soon as we can. However this depends on the government giving the council adequate funding."

The cabinet will meet on Tuesday

to agree the priority list for

medium-sized safety schemes.

Accident sites across the county are scored on various criteria, including potential accident saving, environmental impact and cost.

Three Portuguese factory workers from Peterborough died after their car plunged into the Forty Foot in January. A few weeks earlier Dean Hawes, 28 and his seven-year-old Son Jordan, of Chatteris, also died.