Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Grandmother's Two Minute Taxi Ride To Avoid Danger Junction

Disabled grandmother, Florence Hawkes has to take a taxi for the two minute journey from her home to Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital because she cannot cross the notorious Queen Edith’s Way roundabout.

Mrs Hawkes, 84, of Fendon Close pays £3.40 out of her pension every six weeks to make the quarter of a mile trip because she says traffic coming from all directions makes it impossible to cross.

And she fears for the safety of her grandchildren who cycle to school across the busy junction which links Fendon Road, Mowbray Road and Queen Edith’s Way.

Cambridge Liberal Democrat election candidate for Queen Edith’s, Tim Moore has been campaigning for safety improvements and recently carried out a survey at the junction. He discovered that up to 1,800 vehicles an hour pass through and 25 per cent of those crossing the junction are cyclists or pedestrians.

Mrs Hawkes, who has two false knees and osteoporosis in her spine, said: “It’s not just a case of looking one way for the traffic. It’s whizzing here and there and I have to cross two roads to get to the hospital. Some of the traffic lights don’t work during the day which makes it more difficult.

“I haven’t tried to cross for several months now. I take a taxi to the hospital. It only takes a couple of minutes but I have to go at least every six weeks.”

Mrs Hawkes’ 16-year-old grandson and 13-year-old granddaughter cycle to school across the junction and she worries for their safety especially if she is looking after them when their parents are away.

“I always ask my granddaughter to ring me when she gets to school and when she is leaving to come home so that I know she is safe,” she added.

Dr Moore said: “Traffic travels through the junction very fast and visibility is poor. It’s extremely difficult for disabled people and even the young and fit take their time during rush hour.

“When I surveyed the traffic I was appalled by what I saw, several near misses and a cyclist forced off the road by a van.”

Dr Moore’s survey was presented to Cambridgeshire County Council along with a petition calling for safety improvements at the junction.

“The problem is only going to get worse because the city’s growing population, more jobs being created and the lack of homes will result in more commuters driving into the city and lead to an inevitable increase in traffic,” added Dr Moore.

“We need the county council to act before someone is killed or seriously injured at this junction. There was an accident involving a cyclist last week; fortunately she was not badly hurt, but it’s only a matter of time.”