This is a great bit of news for residents - the award comes for work done right along the A605 from the A141 into Peterborough, much of it subtle stuff like signage and road markings right along the route including through Whittlesey, Coates and Eastrea but also because of the huge success of the work at the junction with the A141, which was dreadful before the installation of the traffic lights.
What is interesting about this is that much of the work is not massively expensive. The most costly bit was almost certainly the A141 junction. But even this was a project that was planned to be a roundabout and ended up as a much cheaper solution. The officers at the County Council deserve a huge amount of credit for this success. The change in the plans for this junction were one of my earlier decisions as a Cabinet Member at County and we made them work really hard to convince us that the traffic lights were a better solution than a roundabout, rather than just a cheaper one - and they have proved absolutely right. This confirms my belief that more money is not the answer to everything (although it often helps!!)
It was also good to hear Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Tony Orgee, confirm in his interview with BBC Cambridgeshire Breakfast that the Kings Dyke railway crossing is very much on the County Council's radar. Good to know that the County are doing their bit for our Town.
I thought it was worth pasting the County Council's press release about this award:
ROYAL SEAL OF APPROVAL FOR HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT WORK
County Council work to improve safety on the A605 in the north of Cambridgeshire has been given a royal seal of approval after winning the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.
The 13-mile section of road between Hobbs Lot Bridge and Peterborough has been recognised as the most improved section of rural highway in the country.
Safety improvement work carried out by Cambridgeshire County Council included new traffic lights at the Goosetree junction, re-alignment of sections of the road, fixed and mobile speed cameras, new speed and accident blackspot warning signs and work to keep the surface and markings in good condition particularly at junctions and bends and maintained visibility by removing over grown trees and bushes.
As a result of the work, between 2005-2010 the number of fatal and serious crashes fell by 74% (from 34 to 9) and the road safety rating improved from medium risk to low risk.
Prior to 2005 crashes at junctions, those involving pedestrians and cyclists and vehicles running off the road were prominent, each accounting for 30% of all fatal and serious crashes along the route. Between 2006-2010, those proportions fell to 11% for each category of accident.
The award citation reads: ‘Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards are presented to individuals, companies or organisations in recognition of their outstanding contribution to improving road safety.’
The County Council will receive the award during the launch of the 2012 British European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP) at The House of Lords, on October 16.
County Council Cabinet Member for Community Infrastructure, Councillor Tony Orgee, said: “Improving road safety is all about cutting the number of people who are killed and injured on the roads and I’m delighted that our very successful efforts to do just that on the busy A605, which is a major commuter route that is also extensively used by local traffic and commercial vehicles, has been recognised by the award of such a prestigious accolade as the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.
“Winning this award is a worthy recognition of the hard work of the local community which called for safety improvements, the County Councillors who supported their campaign and the road safety and highways teams who designed and implemented the improvements.”
Announcing the award, Adrian Walsh director of the awards scheme said: “Many of our rural ‘A’ roads remain high risk – here is an outstanding example of a county taking this seriously and making a difference, other authorities should follow and do the same.”