10:29 Thursday 24 October 2013

'Dangerous' junction in Ely one step closer to being made safer

Written byJORDAN DAY

A “dangerous” junction in Ely is one step closer to being made safer thanks to persistent residents and councillors.

Worried residents have been calling for safety improvements at the junction where West Fen Road meets Downham Road for years.

They say pedestrians, cyclists and motorists’ lives are being put at risk when using the junction, which is located opposite a tight bend, and that a mini roundabout should be built there.

But thanks to locals’ persistency and support from the City of Ely Council, Cambridgeshire County Council highways have now drawn up a plan for improving the junction which they say will make it safer.

The proposed scheme does not involve building a mini roundabout but would see the existing traffic island being widened and extended - and a ‘pedestrian refuge’ being created within it.

Susan Whitbread, who lives in nearby Chiefs Street, has been calling for safety improvements at the junction for some time.

She said: “The sharp bend opposite the junction makes it extremely difficult for motorists and cyclists to see if anything is coming when they turn.

“People’s lives are being put at risk here everyday so I’m over the moon that the council is finally doing something to make it safer.

“I still believe building a mini roundabout would be the best option but we have to be grateful of any improvements, especially in these tough economic times.”

A county council spokesman said: “The scheme at the Downham Road/West Fen Road junction is to widen and extend the existing traffic island and to create a pedestrian refuge within the new island.

“The work is part of our Transport Delivery Plan and is in the Ely Market Town Strategy Plan and we have about £15,000 to spend.”

If the scheme passes its safety audit test, the council hopes to have the work completed by next February.

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