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Cambridgeshire Highways promise action after couple have four cars crash into their garden in Manea

Brenda Mead-Blandford with Jon Clarke from Cambridgeshire Highways with one of the fence posts that had to be repaired after Sunday's four accidents.
Brenda Mead-Blandford with Jon Clarke from Cambridgeshire Highways with one of the fence posts that had to be repaired after Sunday's four accidents.

A Fenland couple who want protection for their home and to prevent a possible fatality after four cars ploughed into their garden during the recent snowy weather have been assured action will be taken.

Brenda Mead-Blandford described the moment she saw a car skid on ice on the s-bends outside her home in Westfield Road, Manea and nearly hit a pedestrian.

“We had four cars come off the road and hit our fence during the snow on Sunday (10). The road was like an ice rink, one of the cars skidded on the bend and came off and hit our fence post. I saw it out of the window and I could see a woman on the pavement and I just thought she was going to be hit. Fortunately the car missed her, but it was only by a matter of a few feet.

“I spent all day trying to get through to the highways people about the state of the road, it hadn’t been gritted and I was really frightened someone was going to get seriously hurt.

“Thankfully it was a Sunday so the school and public buses weren’t running because they could well of skidded on the ice and a child could have been hurt,” said Brenda, whose husband Alan who used to run gritter lorries and was a driver himself.

On Friday Jon Clarke, from Cambridgeshire Highways, visited the couple to issue assurances that action will be taken to ensure the road is properly gritted during any future icy spells.

He told Brenda the gritter lorries have the technology to allow drivers to change the angle, amount and spread of grit on the road and there should be no reason why the whole of the s-bends should not be covered.

Jon accepted part of the road had been missed during the gritting runs during the snowy period and said he would be talking to drivers to ensure they understand the need to utilise the technology on their vehicles to make sure it does not happen in the future.

He also told Brenda he would look into the installation of rebound barriers which would add protection to her property if a vehicle were to come off the road.

“They can literally stop a car in its tracks, which should give you some extra peace of mind,” he told Brenda.

She explained her main concern was not the protection of her property, although she admitted she was afraid every time it was icy because of the potential consequences of a vehicle skidding into her home, but for the safety of pedestrians.

“We have a lot of school children coming along the path and they congregate on their scooters outside our house. If they had been stood there on Sunday I hate to think what would have happened, it makes me feel sick to think about it.

“Buses and lorries already find it difficult to negotiate the bends and if it is icy they could easily skid and our fence is not going to stop one hitting the house,” she said.

Jon said: “Our lorries can cover the entire width of a motorway so they have the capability to cover the width of the bends. It is just a case of ensuring they are used properly so that happens.”

Brenda added: “I will be satisfied if Jon does what he has promised to do and I will be checking to make sure the next time the gritter comes past it is covering the whole of the s-bends, because this is not just about protecting our property, but potentially saving someone’s life.”

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