Road safety campaigner calls for more roadside barriers after two recent fatalities on Fenland roads

PUBLISHED: 16:06 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:30 13 October 2017

The scene of the accident on the Sixteen Foot Bank near Chatteris that claimed the life of Sharon Taylor. Photo: Graham Chappell

The scene of the accident on the Sixteen Foot Bank near Chatteris that claimed the life of Sharon Taylor. Photo: Graham Chappell

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A local road safety campaigner is calling for more barriers to be installed along a road which claimed the life of a 54-year-old woman from Sutton last week.

The scene of the accident on the Sixteen Foot Bank near Chatteris that claimed the life of Sharon Taylor. Photo: Graham ChappellThe scene of the accident on the Sixteen Foot Bank near Chatteris that claimed the life of Sharon Taylor. Photo: Graham Chappell

Sharon Taylor was killed when the car she was travelling in left the road and plunged into a ditch along Sixteen Foot Bank on October 8.

Last week’s crash is the latest in a long line of tragedies to occur on Fenland roads in recent years, and Graham Chappell, who launched road safety campaign Charlotte’s Way after Charlotte Walker died when her car entered a ditch in 2008, says more must be done to prevent further deaths.

“Last week’s accident has come as a terrible and shocking reminder of the serious additional risks posed by the deep dykes that run alongside some of our key Fenland roads,” he said.

Road safety campaigner, Graham Chappell.Road safety campaigner, Graham Chappell.

“I visited the site earlier this week and from the evidence at the scene it appeared that the vehicle involved had left the road around 60 metres past the apex of the bend.

“It was clear to me that had there been a safety barrier then the vehicle involved would have been prevented from leaving the road and entering the river which would almost certainly have saved the life lost in this accident.”

Mr Chappell’s calls come on the same day that two women were killed and two men were injured after their car left the road and careered into a water-filled ditch on Puddock Road, near Ramsey.

“With the Sixteen Foot collision, it is clear that a safety barrier installation is positively indicated,” he added.

“It had been many years since the last fatal accident at this location and with the re-instalment of the 50mph speed limit on the Sixteen Foot and the other improvements made on the North Bank and Forty Foot, I had hoped that I would not see another fatality at this location or anywhere else on the Fen river roads in my lifetime.

“Sadly, that has proved not to be the case. There is a good case for investing in safety barrier installation on the Sixteen Foot and Puddock Road.”

Mr Chappell hopes that he can work with Cambridgeshire County Council and use some of the £10,000 his campaign has raised to prevent more deaths in the future.

“Thanks to the generous support from the people of Fenland since we began fundraising and after the county council agreed to work in partnership with us, we currently have £10,000 available to assist with the cost of further installations.

“In my view, this would be money very well spent at these two locations.”

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