Elections

« Back to list of all 16 questions for this election

Question 3 - we asked:

We believe that 20mph should be the norm for local streets in residential areas (as distinct from main connecting roads). 20mph would: greatly encourage walking and cycling; improve the quality of life in an area for residents; and would not delay car journeys significantly (because only the start/end of a journey would be affected). Do you agree that 20mph should become the norm for local streets in Cambridge and surrounding villages?

We asked this question in all 16 divisions, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Bar Hill, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, Cottenham, Histon and Impington, East Chesterton, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

35 of the 73 candidates (48%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Matthew W ADAMS
(Conservative Party)

There are many areas where I think a 20mph limit is an essential change – outside our schools, for instance (so I would certainly join all the voices calling for 20mph in Northfield Avenue). I also welcome recent attempts to control speeding along Kings Hedges Road and Milton Road which are both significant arteries and residential roads, though I do not feel that a 20mph limit would be appropriate in those cases – 30mph properly enforced with mobile cameras should be sufficient.

Samuel J W BARKER
(Conservative Party)

In romsey we already have plenty of traffic calming.

Andrew J BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I certainly agree that many of the streets you describe should not be taken at speeds exceeding 20mph and I am open to the possibility that that should be mandated by speed limits or a home zone (noting that there are other ways to convict for driving too fast than through speed limits). However, I would be wary of a solution that required a sea of street furniture in residential roads. I would disagree with using safety measures to implement social engineering; for example, specifically making driving frustrating in order to encourage walking and cycling. Safety measures need to have the respect of road users so they must only be enacted for safety reasons.

Donald F DOUGLAS
(Conservative Party)

Yes! and on some main roads such as Mill Road.

Charles S HARCOURT
(Conservative Party)

I am very much in favour. We still need more cycle paths. I feel very vulnerable cycling at night on Hills Road and Cherry Hinton Road.

John M IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

This depends very much on the eventual definition of "residential areas". There are many areas where I would strongly support a 20mph limit. However, I think it would be a mistake to extend this into roads where speeds of 30 mph are common when traffic is light (cf City Centre 20 mph zone; I do not think that Trumpington St and Regent's St would be a good choice for a 20mph zone -- there is simply too much space)

Michael J MORLEY
(Conservative Party)

I'm learning to drive at the moment, and my lessons take me through many areas of Cambridge - in West Chesterton and beyond. I'm puzzled by speed limits, though.

In some areas, with so many parked cars, one must crawl along at 20mph regardless of the speed limit as to go faster would not be safe. On other residential roads - long straight ones with off-street parking for every house - a 20mph limit is in place when a greater speed would not affect safety.

The question, however, is why we want a 20mph limit: is it to increase safety, or is it to encourage cycling and walking? If the latter is the case then, as a method for social engineering, I cannot support it.

If it is to increase safety, we have to ask if a mandatory speed limit is the correct approach. How do we define a residential area, or would we put a 20mph limit on any road with house on it? Is a 20mph limit going to change the behaviour of the minority of drivers who drive far to fast on built-up roads, or will it merely frustrate law-abiding drivers?

Yes, 20mph limits should be encouraged where the road conditions warrant them, but no, they should not be the norm as every area, and every road, is different.

James A STRACHAN
(Conservative Party)

There is a sharp divide in driver behaviour.

About 90% of drivers recognise a residential area and already drive at speeds below the 30 mph limit because they recognise the dangers.

The other 10% take no notice of the 30 mph limit. Changing the limit would not change their behaviour.

This can be clearly seen within East Chesterton on Fen Road.

Alexandra L J COLLIS
(Green Party)

A 20 mph restriction should certainly be the norm fro local streets in residential areas; in Norwich the Green Party has pushed successfully for this (showing that the party has a proven track record of acting on campaign promises), and I would like to see this extended across the region. The introduction of these speed limits in central Cambridge is a welcome development; now it is time to see them extended to the outer areas of the city as a matter of urgency. Speeding can be a particular problem in these areas, discouraging more people from cycling. Clearly displayed and consistently enforced 20 mph limits across the city can only encourage more of the city's population to take up walking or cycling, with beneficial health and environmental consequences.

Ceri B GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

Yes

Keith A GARRETT
(Green Party)

I believe that all of Cambridge and surrounding villages should become a 20 mph zone. Wherever there are cycles and pedestrians it should be 20 mph. Above 20 mph should become the exception and only on roads wide enough to have solutions like hybrid cycle lanes to ensure that novice cyclists feel safe.

Valerie T HOPKINS
(Green Party)

There can be no doubt that reducing the speed limit in local streets as well as main connecting roads would encourage more people to walk or cycle. I totally agree that 20mph should be the norm in the centre of Cambridge and the suburbs and the Green Party in Norwich have campaigned for this also. It would result in safer roads and promote cycling, lowering congestion especially at busy times of the day.

Teal Richard RILEY
(Green Party)

Not only do I think that 20mph speed limits should be the norm for residential streets, I think that where on connecting roads the limit is higher hy-brid cycle lanes should be introduced to give those less confident cyclists a clear gap between them and motor traffic.
The Green Party is Norwich successfully pushed for 20mph speed limits for residential streets showing we have a track record of acting on our promises.
We welcome the introduction of these speed limits in central Cambridge but would like to see them urgently extended to the suburbs. In King's Hedges speeding can be a particular problem, this no doubt puts people off cycling. With 20mph limits and proper enforcement. More of Cambridge's traffic can move onto bikes reducing pollution, congestion and making it easier for us all to get around.

Catherine E TERRY
(Green Party)

I think that 20mph speed limits should be the norm for residential streets. The Green Party is Norwich successfully pushed for 20mph speed limits for residential streets showing we have a track record of acting on our promises.
I welcome the introduction of these speed limits in central Cambridge and would like to see them extended to some of the suburbs. With 20mph limits, more of Cambridge's traffic can feel safer to move onto bikes, reducing pollution, congestion and making it easier for us all to get around.

James C YOUD
(Green Party)

Not only do I think that 20mph speed limits should be the norm for residential streets, I think that where on connecting roads the limit is higher hy-brid cycle lanes should be introduced to give those less confident cyclists a clear gap between them and motor traffic.
The Green Party is Norwich successfully pushed for 20mph speed limits for residential streets showing we have a track record of acting on our promises.
We welcome the introduction of these speed limits in central Cambridge but would like to see them urgently extended to the suburbs. In King's Hedges speeding can be a particular problem, this no doubt puts people off cycling. With 20mph limits and proper enforcement. More of Cambridge's traffic can move onto bikes reducing pollution, congestion and making it easier for us all to get around.

Robert YOUNG
(Green Party)

I believe that this suggestion would make cycling more comfortable and attractive and that it would therefore increase cycling in Cambridge. I therefore support it fully. I think that on connecting roads where the limit is higher, hybrid cycle lanes should be introduced to give less confident cyclists a clear gap between them and motor traffic.

The Green Party is Norwich successfully pushed for 20mph speed limits for residential streets I would like to do the same in Cambridge. With 20mph limits and proper enforcement, more of Cambridge's traffic can move onto bikes, pollution and congestion can be reduced and we can all travel round the city more easily and safely.

Thomas A WOODCOCK
(Independent)

Yes

Christine FREEMAN
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Leonard A FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

Yes - the Labour government has made this possible. In most areas 20mph is quite fast enough. Pedestrians and cyclists do, I understand have a much greater possibility of escaping severe injury at 20 mph then at 30 mph. Also it can have an important pschological effect, in encouraging people to use their bikes.

Michael G SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

I support 20mph speed limits not only in residential areas but also on connecting roads such as Carlton Way, Gilbert Road and Milton Road from the Elizabeth Way roundabout to Mitcham's Corner. This would make it a lot safer for children going to and from school.

Sadiq TARIQ
(Labour Party)

20mph limits would make residential streets safer but these have to be enforceable. On some streets in Coleridge cars already exceed the 30mph limit which is why initiatives like Speedwatch are necessary to create an environment where speeding becomes socially unacceptable. These volunteer-based, police-supported activities are a valuable adjunct to police monitoring and enforcement action and deserve our support. There are new technologies available which could improve monitoring and enforcement and I hope these can be supported and implemented to make 20mph limits effective. Experiments elsewhere to remove street signs and traffic lights have been shown to slow down traffic and reduce casualties as well as improving traffic flow and it might be worth considering such ideas in Cambridge.

Kilian BOURKE
(Liberal Democrat)

I've been campaigning for this all year. See the following letter to CEN: http://kilianbourke.mycouncillor.org.uk/2008/08/04/19/ I've raised the issue at almost every full council I've been present at, and eventually Conservative Cabinet member Matt Bradney reluctantly agreed to review their policy, and to revert to government guidance (20mph limits can once again be introduced on roads where the average speed is 24mph or less, as opposed to 20mph or less.) I've also repeatedly pressed, along with Nichola Harrison of Petersfield, for the Portsmouth 20mph blanket zone to be implemented in Cambridge. This is now being trialled experimentally in the city-centre, but it's the residents areas that really need it. I am concerned that the County is going about this scheme in a way that is designed to fail: having attended the Cycle Campaigns "20's Plenty" presentation, I know that the Portsmouth scheme only worked because it was promoted through schools and launched, in a blaze of publicity, across the city all at once. Cambridge County Council's "a little bit here, a little bit there" approach is doomed to fail.

Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

I support this - of course to have any useful effect it will have to be properly enforced where the narrowness of the streets does not effectively limit speed anyway.

Susan GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

I think that there are some cyclists who would not stick to the 20mph limit! I would not like to see 20mph put in place to penalise car drivers. I am happy to support the introduction of lower limits where this has been suggested and justified by the local parish council or community council.

Nichola J HARRISON
(Liberal Democrat)

Absolutely agree and have been arguing this case at the County Council for a good while. I called in for scrutiny a decision of the Cabinet which made it even more difficult to introduce 20mph limits in Cambridgeshire, a decision which has now been reversed.

I have argued for a 20mph limit in the Tenison Rd/Devonshire Rd area as part of the traffic calming measures there associated with the CB1 planning consent.

I have also, with my Romsey colleagues, argued for a 20mph limit along Mill Road and I believe the County Council will consult the public over this idea in the near future.

I am pleased to see the Council's 20mph proposal for the city core area - it is much better than nothing - but would much have preferred a scheme covering residential streets, akin to the Portsmouth scheme.

Julian L HUPPERT
(Liberal Democrat)

I do agree with the '20's plenty' campaign. This has now been introduced in a few cities around the country, starting with Lib Dem-led Portsmouth. Locally, one of my colleagues, Cllr Killian Burke of Romsey, has campaigned very hard for such a scheme to happen here; we are finally getting some success with this campaign, and there will be more 20 mph zones. In particular, we persuaded the County Council to relax its requirements for 20 mph zones to be 'self-enforcing', requiring the unnecessary expenditure of public money to build roadhumps and suchlike to reduce speeds. We don't require any other road laws to be self-enforcing, so why should this be an exception?

David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes but we need to be clear (1) about what do we mean by villages; and (2) that a 20mph speed limit is only a part of a broader program to make our communities more sustainable.

20mph speed limits wsuld slow down the tempo of traffic in village streets which would make them safer for cyclists who would then not need to cycle on the pavements which would then be safer for pedestrians.

But even at 20mph there would still be dangers as motorists feel the urge to 'get on'. We need to convince the motorist that he/she will not be held up and that keeping his/her speed down is of benefit not just to cyclists and pedestrians but also to motorists themselves.

Rupert W G MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

I think there should indeed be a presumption for a 20mph limit for local streets in residential areas but, again, the choice should be one for the local people. There are streets in my ward that would benefit greatly, a very local example being Akeman Street and Darwin Drive. As the Portsmouth trial shows, it is important to get the 'hearts and minds' on board as well as simply putting up signs.

Andrew R PELLEW
(Liberal Democrat)

Same here! In fact one of the issues I'm currently campaigning for is a 20mph speed limit on Northfield Avenue outside King's Hedges Primary School and the Red Hen Project. I agree that a 20mph speed limit should be the norm in built up areas with limited exceptions. For example where there is a main road with few or no houses on it (like King's Hedges Road) or where the houses are set back quite a way from the street (Milton Road) I don't think a 20mph limit would be necessary or appropriate.

Sarah C WHITEBREAD
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. Market ward is being used as a test case by the County Council on this issue, with pretty well all the residential streets in the ward covered by a pilot 20mph scheme. Enforcement will be key, but if it is successful, I would like to see 20mph limits in other parts of Cambridge. I know Kilian Bourke and Nichola Harrison are campaigning for this in Mill Road.

Siep S WIJSENBEEK
(Liberal Democrat)

Depends. If there is a seperate safe cycle track/path next to the carriage way you can allow 30mph. Do not forget that 20mph is more polluting then 30mph.
But safe cycle ways are virtually non existant in this country !!!!!!!!!

Kevin WILKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes very strongly. The injury-reduction arguments are obviously very strong, but we should press this further to change the culture such that people (esp those learning to drive) believe that 20mph is the norm in a residential area.

The County Council's hostility to 20mph has been daft.

Thomas S YATES
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree that all non-arterial roads around Cambridge should have a 20mph limit, and I think that very few roads should qualify as arterial (though some do, and they shouldn't be so limited). I am delighted that it has become possible that Mill Road will be limited to 20mph, thanks in large part to a long campaign by one of my colleagues, County Cllr Killian Burke of Romsey.

Marjorie R H BARR
(UK Independence Party)

Yes, I think there will have to be more areas with lower speed limits as our streets are becoming more congested.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

No

Camcycle is a non-partisan body. All candidates are given an equal opportunity to submit their views. Information published by Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign), The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0DL.