Forty foot - It's action at last on Forty Foot

PUBLISHED: 16:10 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 13:39 04 May 2010

The Forty Foot Road

The Forty Foot Road

ALMOST exactly a year since the death of a seven-year-old boy and his father sparked a campaign, action is to be taken on the deadly Forty Foot Road. On Tuesday, Cambridgeshire County Council is expected to agree formally to install average speed cameras

ALMOST exactly a year since the death of a seven-year-old boy and his father sparked a campaign, action is to be taken on the deadly Forty Foot Road.

On Tuesday, Cambridgeshire County Council is expected to agree formally to install average speed cameras along the road.

The road claimed five lives in six weeks last winter, including seven-year-old Jordan Hawes and his father, Dean, 27.

The two drowned when their car left the road at about 5pm on December 21. They were driving from their home in Chatteris to collect Jordan's mum, Michelle, from work in Huntingdon.

Mrs Hawes has never spoken publicly about the accident.

On February 1, three more people, Portuguese factory workers, died when their car left the road at about 5am.

Jose Marmeleira, 49, Cidaline de Oliveria, 46, and Carlos Condecco, 46, died when their car went into the river.

Jose's son, Miguel, 19, managed to swim to the bank having seen his father die in the car. Cidaline, a grandmother, was working with the others at the Rustler Produce factory, in Chatteris, to help her grandson through university in Portugal.

The managing director of the company, Jason Burgess, who has been working with the county council for road safety ever since the accident, this week welcomed the speed cameras but also called for other action.

The road is narrow, unlit, it has no pedestrian footpaths and it has a deep ditch on one side and the river on the other.

It is built on drained land and drivers say "it moves underneath you".

It was on another, similarly bleak, stretch of the Forty Foot Road, between Ramsey and Ramsey St Mary's, that 17-year-old Tom Jones, from Ramsey, was killed by a hit and run driver.

He and his friends were walking home in the dark in April last year when Tom was hit by a car and flung into the river.

This will be the first time average speed cameras have been used in the UK to reduce accidents along riverside roads - and the first time they have been used in Cambridgeshire.

If members of the county council's cabinet agree on Tuesday, work will start in the new year.

County Councillor Mac McGuire, lead member for highways, said he was confident they would get Government funding for the scheme, expected to cost £300,000.

He said: "It is quite clear that some motorists are prepared to drive at horrendous speeds along the Forty Foot.

"We should start work on it as soon as we can. If this is successful, it could be considered across the UK.

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