Littleport councillor says “if people would stop driving too fast” the amount of accidents on Branch Bank and Padnal Bank would decrease

Councillor Daniel Divine

Councillor Daniel Divine - Credit: Archant

A Littleport councillor believes that if motorists “would stop driving too fast” the number of accidents on Branch Bank and Padnal Bank would be far less.

Branch Bank, Littleport.

Branch Bank, Littleport. - Credit: Archant

Councillor Daniel Divine says he has working hard to try to tackle the growing number of accidents on these stretches of road.

His comments come after the latest collision left a driver trapped in a vehicle earlier today and follow the report by a resident who has seen 14 collisions there in just 10 weeks.

Cllr Divine emailed the Highways Agency last week having met with Bruce Heaps, a New River Bank resident.

Mr Heaps told him that his main concern in regards to the road is “the current speed limit of 40mph, which is being largely ignored by drivers.”

Mr Heaps also told Cllr Divine that he visited Geoff Hobbs, a local haulier that uses the road. The owner reportedly said that his drivers were not exceeding the speed limits, and that using this road saves him diesel.

Mr Heaps also explained that he had visited Ely police station to voice his concerns. Officers told him that heavy good vehicles should be doing 10mph less, and that they would monitor this road.

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Cllr Divine has now written to the Highways Agency with the observation that “historically this road has had its share of accidents. Sadly this year there has been one fatality.

“In 2013, an 18-year-old was killed at Sandhill Bridge junction that is connected to this road.

“I know there was a £50,000 scheme to improve safety and visibility at the New River Bank junction.

“I met with the owners of The Caravan Park, and at peak times they have up to 100 people coming to stay, and when caravans pull out of their park, it’s highly dangerous.

“People from this park also cross the road to visit the pub, and the owners went on to say that there have been seven accidents.”

Cllr Divine said that both residents told him they are in favour of a speed camera, “as 40 mph signs do very little.

“I myself stood there for some time, and it is frightening; it’s used heavily by hauliers.”

In the letter Cllr Divine goes on to question the validity of a speed watch group survey carried out on 153 vehicles.

“Fourteen were travelling at 46mph in a 40 zone - the fastest was 60mph,” said Cllr Divine.

“A quarter of all vehicles were travelling in excess of 41mph, but this survey is not a true account.

“If a speed watch team stand there with a speed gun wearing yellow fluorescent jackets, every driver will naturally slow down.

“These surveys should be done with a hidden camera, to gather more accurate data.”

He added: “My concern is that more fatalities are likely to happen. Drivers simply need to drive with care and slow down, so what is the solution?”