Hope for safety barriers on river road

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WORK started on Monday to see if safety barriers can be put along a dangerous Fenland riverside road.

Cambridgeshire County Council has ordered soil testing at Bedlam Bridge on the Sixteen Foot near March in a bid to see if it is possible to install safety barriers.

The decision to test the soil is the culmination of a three-year campaign by the Fenland Road Safety Campaign set up following the death of Christchurch schoolgirl Charlotte Walker in an accident on the Sixteen Foot.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said this week’s work would take about three days to complete and will see the installation of test concrete foundations.

He said the foundations will be left for 28 days to ‘cure’ and then resistance testing will be carried out to see if they are suitable for safety barrier.

Campaigner Graham Chappell has raised £5,000 towards a barrier at that location through a variety of sponsored events including canoeing the length of the Sixteen Foot.

The county council spokesman said it was unclear just how far this money would go towards the cost of a safety barrier.

But said the resistance testing would help establish whether it is possible to install barriers at that point and the exact costs of such provision.

“This is part of a preliminary exploration to see what can be done to improve safety at the junction and the work is also necessary to establish an accurate costing,” said the spokesman.