Mother, Lorna Lewthwaite pleased road is to be made safer

The gap in the A1 central reservation at Thornhaugh which is to be permanently blocked
The gap in the A1 central reservation at Thornhaugh which is to be permanently blocked
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A MOTHER says she is “pleased” that road safety improvements are to start on a section of the A1 where her son died.

Lorna Lewthwaite, of Mountbatten Avenue, Stamford, has been campaigning for the gap in the central reservation on the A1 at Thornhaugh to be closed since her son Andrew, 38, died there in January 2008.

He was riding a motorcycle which collided with a van, which crossed the carriageway into his path.

The gap has been closed since 2009 as part of a temporary traffic regulation order but the Highways Agency has confirmed that the £220,000 work to permanently close it will start on Monday.

Mrs Lewthwaite said she had received a letter from the Highways Agency to inform her work was due to start.

She said: “It does feel a bit of an anti-climax but I am pleased that it is finally going to happen.

“I think Andrew would be proud that I have achieved what I set out to do.

“It is not going to bring him back but hopefully it will mean other families are saved from going through what we had to go through.”

Mrs Lewthwaite thanked coroner Gordon Ryall, who following the inquest into Andrew’s death, wrote to the Highways Agency asking them to investigate safety on the A1.

She also thanked North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara for his support.

Mrs Lewthwaite said: “I was lucky that I had the coroner and Mr Vara behind me and I can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Mr Vara added: “It has been a long campaign to get the work done and I’m pleased it’s finally taking place.

“It will improve the safety of the road and therefore help avoid further tragedies.”

Hubert Warren, of Russell Hill, Thornhaugh, and the former clerk to Thornhaugh Parish Council, has also called for road safety improvements.

He said: “It was inevitable they were going to close the gap because it was suicidal trying to cross the carriageway.

“I am pleased they are going to do it.”

A barrier is being put up to stop motorists from turning right into Thornhaugh from the A1 southbound carriageway. They will instead have to continue to the A47 and cross the flyover to switch sides of the carriageway.

Highways Agency project manager Adam Schwalm said: “We closed the gap back in 2009 as a temporary safety measure and, as agreed, we are now carrying out this work to make the closure permanent.

“This will improve safety on the A1 in this area.

“This scheme will also improve safety for local residents as there will be a safe crossing point in the safety barrier for pedestrians.”

The work will be carried out over 18 nights, Monday to Fridays between 9pm and 5am, to minimise disruption to motorists.

There will be lane closures on both north and southbound carriageways past the works area and the nearby lay-bys will be closed. There will also be a 50mph speed limit in place.