Add slow zones

The Cambridge Evening News seems to adopt a sarcastic view of the County Council proposals for a 20mph limit in the Centre of the City (News April 20th).

Cambridge Cycling Campaign would like to encourage the authorities to be bolder and make more roads within this area part of a 20 mph zone. This would make signing simpler, and give a clear message that within the inner ring road is not the place for unnecessary motor vehicle movements and inappropriate speeds. This zone should include areas such as King Street and the ‘Kite’ residential area which are excluded from the current County Council proposals.

No doubt many of those visiting Cambridge, as well as the many local pedestrians and cyclists would be concerned to discover that 15% of vehicles currently exceed 20mph in King’s Parade or parts of Sidney Street, and that in St Andrews Street 15% exceed 25mph. In fact the Council report shows eleven roads within the centre where 15% of vehicles exceed 20mph with one where 15% exceed 34 mph!

Reducing the speed and volumes of motor traffic in such areas is in accordance with Government Guidance, and a 20mph limit will make the roads safer, and encourage more people to make short trips on foot or by bike. In fact slower vehicles would make the area more pleasant, for everyone, be they residents, shoppers, pedestrians or cyclists.

Perhaps next we can have more 20mph zones in residential areas, as exist in many other towns and cities? In Hull, which in the UK has led the way with such zones in residential areas, cycling has much increased and casualties are much reduced. Of course our European partners have had such things for decades.

Far from lengthening essential motor trips such zones should actually shorten them. Making our roads safer for trips by bike or foot, enables more to desert their ‘tin tanks’ hence reducing congestion.

Jim Chisholm
Cambridge Cycling Campaign