North Bank: Northamptonshire man's death sparks speed reduction

North Bank, Whittlesey Six accidents have been reported on the road in as many days

The speed limit has been temporarily cut on a stretch of road in Cambridgeshire after a man died in a sixth accident in six days.

The body of Keith Pettitt, 50, of Deene Thorpe, Corby was recovered from a Skoda Octavia in the River Nene off North Bank, Whittlesey, on Monday.

Police believe his car may have entered the water as early as 26 November.

Peterborough City Council said the speed limit had been reduced from 60mph to 40mph "as a precaution".

There have been five other accidents on the road since Wednesday but no serious injuries. However a month ago a teenage driver died on the same stretch.

North Bank accidents in past month

Tributes to Keith Pettitt at accident scene on River Nene
  • 3 Nov: Hannah Yates, 18, dies when her car plunges into the River Nene
  • 27 Nov: A family of four escapes after their car enters the water
  • 28 Nov: Car driver escapes from the river
  • 29 Nov: A van driver is unhurt after his vehicle crashes into the Nene
  • 1 Dec: Car driver escapes unhurt from river crash
  • 2 Dec: Keith Pettitt's body recovered from car in River Nene
  • 2 Dec: Driver unhurt after accident along same stretch

Hannah Yates, 18, died after her car left the same 0.5-mile (0.8km) stretch of road and plunged into the River Nene on 3 November.

North Bank is expected to remain closed until Wednesday while investigations into Mr Pettitt's death are carried out, and Cambridgeshire Police have appealed to anyone who may have seen his Skoda being driven along the road between November 26 and 14:30 GMT on Monday.

Simon Machen, from the council, said initial inspections of North Bank had found "no defects with the road or its surface", both of which it maintains.

"However, we are aware of a number of incidents in the past week, and have therefore decided as a precautionary measure to introduce a temporary 40mph speed limit until we can fully investigate any road safety issues," he added.

"If new measures are required following consideration of the police investigation reports and our ongoing inspection, an appropriate scheme will be designed and implemented."

Road safety campaigners have called for barriers to be installed on North Bank.

Members of the Fenland Road Safety Campaign are currently raising funds for a 250m (820ft) barrier to be installed at a cost of £45,000.

Officials from the council are meeting the group on 12 December to discuss their concerns.

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