Call for safety moves on dangerous’ bend

PUBLISHED: 11:30 08 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

Allan Florence at the bend in Meldreth which is raising concerns - Pic: Daniel Wilson

Allan Florence at the bend in Meldreth which is raising concerns - Pic: Daniel Wilson

A FORMER ITN cameraman who has been in Beirut and Northern Ireland said the road outside his home is more dangerous because of speeding. Allan Florence, 63, of North End, Meldreth, lives on a narrow bend with a 30mph speed limit, but says motorists are ig

A FORMER ITN cameraman who has been in Beirut and Northern Ireland said the road outside his home is more dangerous because of speeding.

Allan Florence, 63, of North End, Meldreth, lives on a narrow bend with a 30mph speed limit, but says motorists are ignoring the speed limit are putting lives at risk.

He said the problem has escalated during the past 15 years due to increasing traffic levels.

In the past five years his front garden wall has been smashed twice and his garden verge has been ripped up three times as a result of vehicles clipping the curb on the bend and skidding across the road.

"One car even drove into a telephone post, ripping out our telephone wires," he said.

So far the damage has cost about £2,000.

He said: "It's not the roads which are dangerous, it's the people. I have on several occasions counted 100 passing vehicles and have estimated at least 85 per cent to be travelling at speeds above 45mph.

"I'm surprised no-one has been killed or injured. It's waiting to happen.

"I have been to places such as Beirut and Northern Ireland with my job, but it's more dangerous here."

During the past 14 years, Mr Florence said he has tried every avenue in a bid to solve the problem.

He has repeatedly contacted South Cambridgeshire highways and Cambridgeshire police.

"Police came to assess the bend with the intention of carrying out speed enforcement, but because it was too dangerous, they said speed enforcement checks would be in appropriate."

"It's ridiculous," he said. "They don't want to put their officers in danger, but they are quite happy for residents to be put at risk."

A police spokesman said: "We do understand Mr Florence's concerns. However, the safety of road users and police officers is paramount when speed checks are being conducted.

"When an officer is carrying out checks they must be clearly visible to avoid an adverse reaction from the motorist.

"Excessive breaking on a bend could put the motorist, other road users and the police officer at risk.

"The officer must also be in a position to stop the motorist in good time and this would be made almost impossible on a bend.

"However, we are contacting the Highways Agency and working towards a resolution to the problem."

Residents who live in Whitecroft Road in Meldreth are also in danger because of difficulty getting in and out their driveways.

Mr Florence believes installing humps in the road would help combat the problem.

However, South Cambridgeshire highways say it has no plans to consider any speed reduction measures at the site in the near future.

Traffic manager Brian Stinton said: "Reducing accidents is a priority, but there is no record of injury accidents on this bend, which means we are unable to consider any speed reduction measures at this time.

"We only have a set budget so we look at sites where there are accidents."

There are currently 200 sites with a record of three or more accidents in the last three years that have been identified in south Cambridgeshire

On Tuesday, Mr Florence was visited by Anglia TV and Sawston police neighbourhood officer Sgt Mark Kathro, who saw the dangerous bend for themselves.

- South Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley has written to Cambridge-shire County Council and the police about the issue.

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