Life-saving safety work

WORK starts next week on a £85,000 safety scheme to improve Bedlam Bridge at Manea,

The scheme is being funded by the County Council and the Charlotte’s Way, Fenland Road Safety Campaign after a successful joint bid for funding.

The existing bridge dating from the 1960s does not have strengthened parapets to stop vehicles entering the water and a scheme has now been designed to install a safety fence in front of the bridge railings within the footway and verge.

Phase 1 of the scheme, set to start on November 26, will install the fencing on the southern side of the bridge, the northern side will be improved after Christmas after the design has been finalised to avoid an existing water main in the footway.

Charlotte’s Way campaign founder Graham Chappell, said: “Through a Local Highway Improvement bid, Charlotte’s Way – Fenland Road Safety Campaign and the County Council have jointly funded a scheme to improve the safety of Bedlam Bridge and the adjacent junction.

“A panel of County Councillors assessed all the bids on set criteria such as safety and community impact and the Charlotte’s Way proposal scored the highest out of all Rural Fenland bids.”

The campaign was launched to improve safety on Fen river roads following the death of nine-year-old Charlotte Walker, who died when the car in which she was travelling plunged into the Sixteen Foot drain.

The work on the southern side of the junction is expected to take around three weeks to complete with temporary traffic signals operating between 7.00 am and 7.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

County Council Cabinet Member for Community Infrastructure, Councillor Tony Orgee, said: “I am delighted that by working together with the road safety campaign we have been able to indentify the funding for the safety improvements at the Bedlam Bridge junction.”