Councillors brand Hill Row, Haddenham - where tractor driver was killed after colliding with parked car - as ‘dangerous and busy’
PUBLISHED: 12:35 20 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:35 20 October 2016
A tractor driver whose last Facebook post revealed that he was travelling to work at just 20 miles-per-hour was killed 12 hours later in a collision in Haddenham.
Darren Grimes was killed on Monday evening when his tractor collided with a parked car in Hill Row.
His last Facebook status, posted at 7.14am, read: “20 mph all the way to work coz beet harvester don’t like lay bys.”
Mr Grimes, 38, of Hillington Square, King’s Lynn, died at the scene when his tractor collided with a parked car.
The collision happened at around 7pm.
Anyone with information should call the Road Policing Unit on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Hill Row has since been described as “dangerous and busy” by two Haddenham Parish Councillors.
Councillor Gareth Wilson, chairman of the council’s road safety working party, said: “Half of the problem seems to be that they have been working really hard all day and tractor drivers don’t seem to have the same rules as HGV drivers.
“What we need to do is make sure that the tractor drivers have proper rest brakes in the same way as a lorry driver, because they are carrying tonnes of goods – it’s a dangerous thing to do.
“They need the same stringent rules and regulations as lorry drivers.
“If the person is too tired it can be dangerous. It’s a busy, dangerous road the A1123,” Cllr Wilson added.
“We are an agricultural community and we have got to make sure it’s safe. I’m not sure the rules are stringent enough.”
Councillor David Lyon, chairman of Haddenham Parish Council, said: “People do need to take care along that road. It’s quite dangerous and it’s not uncommon for people to come off the road.
“Our concerns are more to do with heavy traffic using that road and going through the village. It’s not suitable for that really.”
Many of Mr Grimes’ friends and family have been posting tributes to the self-employed agricultural worker on social media. He was better known to family and friends as ‘Scratch’ and went to Springwood High School, King’s Lynn.
His girlfriend Amy Kirkbride posted: “You will always be the love of my life and I can’t believe you have gone.
“I will always be thinking of you baby. Rest in peace fly high my man xxxxxxxx love you lots n lots me n kian xxxxxxxxx.”
A friend posted: “R.I.P Darren! Such a shock! You will be missed by many! Sleep tight.”
A safety campaign in Haddenham and neighbouring villages was started in recent years by local people and councillors, which set out to stop HGVs and tractors driving through the village.
In February, police held a day of action as part of the initiative, to improve safety and to encourage drivers to drive with consideration.
Councillor Bill Hunt, Cambridgeshire County Councillor for the Haddenham, who is leading the campaign, said in February: “My aim is to get a change of attitude so that it becomes unacceptable to drive too fast through villages, so without having to enforce it, people just don’t want to speed.
“It’s a major concern about traffic coming through these villages too fast.
“It is a continued campaign to make sure that when motorists come through villages they accept the fact there are people about.”
Safety measures were put in place earlier this year, including signs on approaches into the village urging drivers to proceed with care.
Haddenham received five signs on all approach roads and Haddenham parish council applied for a pedestrian crossing on the main road near the playing field pavilion.
“It’s an agricultural community and everybody realises that we need tractors locally, but it is imperative that they drive safely in our communities,” added Cllr Hunt.
Cambridgeshire haulage company Mick George also introduced a ‘no drive zone’ for its lorries, keeping them out of a number of villages around Haddenham.
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