Ely man the latest victim of Forty Foot

AN Ely man has been found dead in his submerged car in the notorious Forty Foot drain almost two weeks after he went missing. Paul Atkinson, 43, of Sycamore Lane was discovered in his Renault car by a police search team using thermal imaging cameras after

AN Ely man has been found dead in his submerged car in the notorious Forty Foot drain almost two weeks after he went missing.

Paul Atkinson, 43, of Sycamore Lane was discovered in his Renault car by a police search team using thermal imaging cameras after reports of a vehicle in the water on Boxing Day.

Officers closed the road after the discovery and it is not yet clear whether the car had been in the water for several days.

Initial investigations show there were no skid marks on the road or the steep grass bank leading to the Forty Foot at Puddock Bridge between Chatteris and Ramsey and police say they are keeping an open mind about the cause of the accident.

Mr Atkinson's death comes almost a year to the day after a seven-year-old boy and his father died when their car plunged into the icy water from a stretch of road which has claimed many victims.

He had been reported missing on December 13 after leaving work in Cambridge. After his disappearance, police appealed for the public's help in tracing him, saying it was completely out of character for him to go missing and his family and friends were concerned.

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On Boxing Day morning police received a call saying a car had been seen in the Forty Foot and the police helicopter and officers were sent to the area.

The notorious stretch of road has claimed a number of lives over the past five years, and has been the scene of many accidents.

Only last week Cambridgeshire County Council gave the go-ahead for a £400,000 plan for a new type of speed camera at the Forty Foot.

A camera would be fitted at each end of the stretch of road to record drivers' speeds as they enter and leave the road. Drivers exceeding the limit would be prosecuted.

These new cameras are not used permanently anywhere else in the county but proved successful when they were introduced temporarily on the M11 motorway while road works were carried out.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor John Reynolds, lead portfolio holder for environment and community services, said: "We are looking for a substantial grant from Government for these new cameras. This is our highest priority and we will be asking district councils, MPs and MEPs to push for this. We want to put as much pressure on Government as we can. If we don't get substantial help from the Government it will be one of the priority schemes which will take the majority of our money.

"We have tried other measures including road markings and rumble strips on this road but there are still a few drivers who choose to ignore the speed limit and overtake. The fact drivers can travel at high speed along this notorious stretch of road beggars belief.

"If this technology works we can look at introducing it at the SixteenFoot Drain and other areas in the county.