More of county’s roads should become 20mph speed limits say Cambridgeshire councillors

More of Cambridgeshire’s roads should become 20mph speed limits, according to its councillors.

Criteria for a proposal which would allow more roads in Cambridgeshire to have a 20mph speed limit could be expanded so higher speed roads can be considered, they have said.

Cambridgeshire County Council is working on a scheme to allow residents to apply for roads to be given the reduced speed limit with the council wanting to implement more 20mph zones to improve road safety across the county, reports the Fenland Citizen.

Last week’s meeting of the county highways and transport committee saw councillors support the idea of more 20mph zones and agree a working group should be set up to develop the plans further.

Members also agreed that the proposed criteria which would be used to assess a road’s suitability should be expanded.

An officer’s report to the meeting explained the 20mph limit would be most suited to built-up areas where vehicles and vulnerable road users mix.

Community support for a 20mph zone would be essential and local councillors would be asked for their opinions with weight being given to any petitions and the community view when any decision was made on implementing the reduced speed limit, said the Fenland Citizen.

The council report said roads being looked at for the introduction of a 20mph speed limit would need to meet at least two out of three set criteria, which would include having a current mean speed of 24mph or below; a depth of residential development or community space and evidence of pedestrian and cyclist movements, and finally if there is a police record of injury collisions within the area, over a five year period.

The report also pointed out that police resources to enforce the speed limit would be limited and therefore “to be effective, such schemes would need to be generally self-enforcing. 20mph limits are therefore unsuited to streets where average traffic speeds are high (ie above 24mph) and where pedestrian/cyclist movements are low.

The expected timescale is for the council’s approach to be drawn up this year, with schemes then being designed in 2023/24 and then being implemented in 2024/25.

But any local highway improvement (LHI) schemes that include 20mph speed limits could still go ahead in the meantime. These could be funded out of the proposed 20mph budget, rather than the LHI funding, as long as they were considered deliverable and did not require further traffic calming.

It was proposed that a paper will be brought back to the committee in July.

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