Victory for the Ely Standard: After nine months and 15 crashes - including one fatal -'black spot' Branch Bank is finally resurfaced
PUBLISHED: 16:41 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:36 07 March 2017
A campaign by the Ely Standard and a Littleport man has resulted in the county council spending £165,000 to resurface a notorious East Cambridgeshire road which has been dubbed the most dangerous in the county.
Branch Bank in Littleport has seen over a dozen crashes in the nine months – including a fatal collision that claimed the life of 20-year-old Jahmel Grant last June – but now, thanks to this newspaper and local resident David Jermy, the council is hoping to halt any future accidents by relaying large sections of its surface.
A county council spokesman said: “Road safety is a top priority for Cambridgeshire County Council and we work with the Police and other agencies, as well as the public, to reduce accidents.
“Although there are areas in Cambridgeshire which have higher accident rates, we have responded to local concerns about recent accidents as well as the recorded eight slight, one serious and one fatal injury accident that happened either on the approach or on the bends over the last five years.
“The council has already installed safety measures such as chevron signing, advanced bend warning signing, SLOW markings, red count down bars and more recently an advisory 40mph speed limit through the bend. In addition to this we have investigated the surface and profile of the highway and bends which remain within the guidelines of a road like this.
“However, to further improve safety we are carrying out a £165,000 scheme to re-profile the bends at Branch Bank. Whilst it is hoped that this re-profiling will, in addition to the other measures, improve safety at the bends, the council would urge all drivers to comply with the advisory speed limit and always drive to the road conditions.”
For the nine months, Mr Jermy has lived in fear after witnessing countless cars skid off the road outside his home because of speeding or wet weather.
He admitted to being too afraid to mow the lawn outside his house for fear of being hit by a car – a fear which prompted him to kick start a campaign alongside this newspaper to get the road resurfaced and a 40 mile per hour speed limit put in place.
His calls were backed by Mel Grant, father of Jahmel, who was killed when the BMW he was travelling in collided with another vehicle on June 2.
Crashes on Branch Bank in the last nine months
June 2, 2016: 20-year-old Jahmel Grant, from Kent, is killed after the BMW he is travelling in collides with another car.
June 16: Two cars are involved in a collision. No-one is injured.
June 27: Two cars come off the road, with one ending up in a bush.
June 28: A car ends up on its roof after coming off the road and into a ditch.
July 29: A family of three - including a baby - escape uninjured after spinning off the road.
August 2: A lucky van driver escapes unhurt after sliding into a ditch.
October 26: Fire crews forced to cut a driver out of their car after ending up in a ditch.
November 9: A car ends up on its roof in a ditch after skidding off the road.
He slammed the council’s lack of action, calling it “disgusting,” and said the layout of the road was “absolutely ridiculous.”
Mr Jermy is now hoping that the resurfacing work will bring an end to accidents along the road and thanked the Ely Standard for its work in highlighting the issue.
He said: “The profiling and resurfacing on what has been called locally as the most dangerous road in the county is, I believe, primarily the result of the investigative journalism by the staff of the Ely Standard.
“The editor and his team of reporters are to be congratulated for bringing this work to the top of the Highways agenda and potentially thwarting another fatality on this section of road.”