New motorcycle tragedy in region

RESIDENTS have spoken of their shock and sadness at the tragic death of a motorcyclist on a notorious village junction as bypass work designed to cut fatalities continues close by.

By James Mortlock

RESIDENTS have spoken of their shock and sadness at the tragic death of a motorcyclist on a notorious village junction as bypass work designed to cut fatalities continues close by.

The biker, who died after his 600cc Honda machine was involved in a collision with a Honda car in Soham Road, Fordham, near Newmarket, was the fourth motorcyclist to be killed on the region's roads in the space of a week.

Villagers said news of the fatal crash on Friday night, at the road's junction with Carter Street, would plunge the community into mourning again.

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The death is the latest in a long list in Fordham over several decades and locals, who fought desperately for the bypass to be built, were hoping the start of construction earlier this year meant the village had seen the last of such tragedies.

They are now hoping no-one else will die before the completion of the relief road, scheduled for early summer next year.

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Police were last night still to name the victim of the latest accident to hit Fordham but officers said he was a 33-year-old local man.

The accident, which closed the road for several hours, happened at just after 7pm on Friday and the motorcyclist is thought to have died almost instantly. The two occupants of the Honda car involved suffered slight injuries and were treated at the scene by paramedics.

One Carter Street resident, who asked not to be named, said there had been a catalogue of crashes in the area in recent times: "Over the past two years I would say there has been at least a dozen crashes on a 300 yard stretch of the road.

"We are all now desperately hoping that the bypass, which should make a huge difference, is finished before anything else happens. It will bring huge benefits to the village and they are also going to put in traffic calming on the surrounding streets to stop them being used as rat runs.

"I live right on the A142 (Soham Road) and the lorries hurtle past only around 6ft from my window."

She said the thoughts of the community were with the family of the dead motorcyclist: "We are all so sorry to hear this has happened. It's such a shame that this should have happened just as the bypass is being built."

Proposals for the traffic calming scheme in the village, which will follow completion of the £12.5 million bypass, will be on display to the public next month. Measures include the installation of two mini roundabouts, lower speed limits in some areas and speed cushions installed in Soham Road, Newmarket Road and Carter Street.

Cambridgeshire police are appealing for witnesses to the Fordham crash to contact them on 01480 422583.

Earlier this month, motocross champion Gareth Pettitt, 25, from Bury St Edmunds, was killed when his Honda bike was involved in a crash with a Renault close to the home of his parents in Walsham le Willows. Only hours later, at nearby Barnham, Richard Girling, 45, of Grimsby, died after his Harley Davidson was in collision with a Citroen.

And within hours of the crash at Barnham a motorcyclist died after an accident near Cambridge.

In an accident on Thursday, a 35-year-old motorcyclist from Newmarket suffered horrific chest injuries in a crash at Quy, near Cambridge. His condition was last night said to be serious.

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