Residents call for more action after fresh spate of accidents on busy road

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Thursday, July 10, 2014
11:23 AM

Another two serious accidents on a road that runs between Little Downham and Ely has reinforced the need for further action to be taken to improve safety, residents say.

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On Sunday, at about 10.45am, a van driver was injured after his vehicle skidded off the B1411 and ended up in a ditch.

And, just minutes later, ambulance and police had to attend to the driver of a Renault Clio which came off the road and ended up on its side not far from where the van left the road.

Police said the incidents were unconnected but come as the latest in what residents say is a long history of accidents on the B1411 – something they say urgently needs addressing.

Last month, Cambridgeshire County Council said that the speed limit at the entrance to Little Downham would be cut in order to improve safety.

Little Downham Parish Council’s bid to cut the 40mph speed limit on an 800-metre stretch of the B1411, Ely Road, down to 30mph was accepted by the county council and is in the final stages of consultation.

The parish council said the move would protect homeowners in the area and would make the entrance to the village much safer.

But Little Downham resident Ian Howarth, said more needed to be done.

He said: “As far as reducing the speed limit on the entrance to the village from 40 to 30mph, I understand that 40 is high but often there are no pedestrians or children and visibility is good on this straight piece of road.

“I am sure if the 30 speed limit is introduced the police speed cameras will attend and catch many motorist driving between 30 and 40 and give them points and a fine but not actually achieve anything, we need to address the safe driving.

“The bends approaching the entrance to the village is a completely different problem, how Amanda Mays from the county council can say this not an accident cluster I don’t know.

“The corner which is of particular concern is adverse camber. The problem arises when bad weather and slippy roads make this corner treacherous, the speed limit is 60 mph and in good conditions this is a limit, but in bad weather even 30 mph is not safe. “It is up to the driver to understand the conditions and drive accordingly, but of all the roads I have driven on, this is the most dangerous in bad weather.

“If nothing is done, there will be more crashes next winter on this road, definitely serious, causing suffering to victims and their families.”

Back in December, Cambridgeshire County Council said it would not be taking any major action to address safety concerns about the B1411, which links Ely with Little Downham, despite holding meetings with worried residents of the village.

Amanda Mays, from the county council, attended a public meeting where particular concern was expressed over the bends in the road and a perceived adverse camber, which residents suggested was contributing to accidents on the road.

At the end of the meeting, Ms Mays promised to see what was “achievable” within the council’s budget but, in a later report to the parish council last month, said the road was not an accident cluster site and no further action, above some extra road markings, would be taken.

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