Father of baby killed at Waterbeach criticises response to A10 safety calls

Grieving dad Chris Thorold is calling for urgent works on the A10 at Waterbeach

Louis and Rachael Thorold. - Credit: Family/Supplied

The father of Louis Thorold, the five-month-old baby killed when a van hit his pram on the A10, has criticised the county council’s response to his calls for road safety measures.

Louis was with his mother when the van collided with the car on the A10 at Waterbeach and mounted the pavement.

Rachael Thorold, 36, is still recovering in hospital with a serious head injury following the collision on January 22.

Chris, her husband and Louis’ father, has urged Cambridgeshire County Council to reduce the speed limit along the stretch of road and to also install road safety barriers.

But in a written reply, the council said the junction was “not a high priority”.

He told the BBC: "I'm in disbelief.

“They've got their evidence and they've followed the process, and that's it, no one is saying 'actually, that's completely wrong - someone has died'.

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"My main emotion is one of sheer disappointment that I've found out the people who should be responsible for the safety of pedestrians think they are doing a good job, even though Louis is dead."

Following the tragedy, Mr Thorold set up the Louis Thorold Foundation. Over £25,000 was raised in his son’s memory.

Part of its vision is to reduce infant pedestrian road deaths "through the promotion and advancement of road safety”.

It is also calling for improvements at the junction of the A10 and Car Dyke Road, the junction where the tragedy happened.

The county council has said one of its studies had highlighted a number of A10 junctions that required attention – and the Car Dyke Road junction was not listed.

According to the BBC, the council told Lucy Frazer, the MP for South East Cambridgeshire: "The Car Dyke Road junction was not flagged up as a high priority as part of this analysis.

"That is not to say that improvements at Car Dyke Road junction are not possible, but prioritisation will need to be carefully considered alongside these other junctions.”

There have been no arrests since the collisions, although police investigations are ongoing. The drivers of the van and the car involved suffered minor injuries.

Last week, South East Cambridgeshire Labour revealed the findings of a Freedom of Information which revealed there were 184 crashes on the A10 between Milton and Stretham between 2010 and 2019. Five were fatalities.

James Bull is campaigning for the Cambridgeshire County Council seat for Waterbeach and Milton tweeted: “Staggering lack of tact from @CambsCC to father of Louis Thorold, telling him safety improvements to Car Dyke junction in #Waterbeach were ‘not a high priority’.”

In a statement to the BBC, the county council said “safety on our roads is a priority for Cambridgeshire” and that it would be contacting Mr Thorold to discuss his suggestions for the Car Dyke Road junction.

“...potential improvements will be considered as part of the ongoing investigation,” it added.