« Back to list of all 27 questions for this election

Question 4 - 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 wards, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, Cottenham, East Chesterton, Histon & Impington, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

37 of the 74 candidates (50%) who were asked this question responded as below.

(Cambridge Socialists)

Yes I agree fully. I also feel there are a number of anomalies where roads have speed limits of 40mph and should really be 20 or 30mph. Most notably Long Road and parts of Barnwell Road. This is extremely unsafe for pedestrians and Cyclists alike.

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I certainly agree that many such streets in our area are not suitable for higher speeds (over 20mph) most of the time. It is worth reading speed reports for places like Mill Road - most of the traffic was already limiting itself to this speed most of the time. We shall have to see if anything actually happens about those who used to go too fast now that the 20mph speed limit is in place there...

However, I do think the obsession with 20mph zones detracts from wider arguments about safety and by being unnecessarily broad in cases can undermine support for traffic restrictions. Safety measures should certainly be deployed for safety reasons only, not social engineering.

(Conservative Party)

If you are talking about cars then i would only agree with a 20 mph restriction if traffic problem was resolved ,i feel poeple will still use cars this will result in an increase in traffic and polution ,there would need to be close consultation with the city council on how this was going to be resolved . As Cambridge grows so will the traffic problem ,we may need to look at a single one way traffic system.

Philip James SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

In theory a 20mph would be sensible, however I know
many people would be against it. In the back streets it is
difficult to go above 20, and the consequences of someone
stepping out into the road are obvious. There are already traffic
calming measures and so I think only certain roads should be
considered on a case by case basis. Mill Road for example is
narrow and cars often go too fast..

Edward James Anthony TURNHAM
(Conservative Party)

I agree that there are many streets in Cambridge where driving above 20mph is unsafe. However, I don't agree that drivers should constantly be told in detail what they can and cannot do. This infantilises them and leads ultimately to worse driving. Driving inappropriately fast is already an offence under the general category of 'dangerous driving' whether or not the speed is within the limit.

But I would agree that high speeds can degrade quality of life for local residents even if they are not unsafe, and so I would concur that reductions in speed limits are sometimes necessary.

(Conservative Party)

It's obviously a desirable aim. I'm not sure your proposal for engineering works at every junction will endear itself to cash-strapped highway authorities though.

My understanding is that it is easier to design 20mph zones into new residential areas, by making the driving environment such as to make low speeds a natural choice.

Alexandra COLLIS
(Green Party)

Anything which encourages walking and cycling can only be beneficial. A 20 mph limit would encourage safer road use, but must be enforced consistently in order to get the message through.

Jane Sarah ESGATE
(Green Party)

Very much so.

Neil Alan FORD
(Green Party)

This has been implemented in my local area but is must be enforced. Why have it when motorists and buses ignore it. They must obey the law.

Ceri Barbara GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

Definitely, but must be enforced.

(Green Party)

Yes, but it must be enforced properly. Whether this is through width restrictions (as opposed to speed bumps) or another method would be decided in consultation with the residents that will be most affected by construction works and its existence.

Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)

As a parent of four teenagers I am very concerned about rat running by cars thru built up areas. There is a 20 mph zone in Wulfstan Way near me and I have never seen it enforced. I am sure that some parents continue to drop their children off in the car because they fear that they are not safe in the morning and afternoon rush hours. Car users need to be discouraged from speeding and targeting areas and handing out fixed penalties is the only way to do this.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

Yes, unreservedly.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Yes. I don't see why 25mph isn't also appropriate in some locations. "This is common in other countries". Might the addition of a "25mph" be a good bargaining ploy with others who might now wish to see reductions?

Stephen Martin LINTOTT
(Green Party)


Donald Allan MCBRIDE
(Green Party)

Yes I do. 20mph is fast enough in side streets and residential areas.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Absolutely. It is applicable to the whole of East Chesterton.

(Green Party)

This is Green Party policy and has vbeen implemented in some residentiakl streets in places with a substantial proportion of Green Party councillors such as, I believe, in Norwich, Brighton and Oxford.


I am reluctant to support this. As someone who driver and cycles and tries to obey ALL speed limits, I do not like 20 mph speed limits in areas where there is no real need. One of the few sensible traffic people I ever heard said that speed limits are more likely to be respected if they appear to match the situation. In the centre of cambridge, it is not normally possible to drive at 20mph anyway so it is all a symbolic waste of time. In surrounding villages, I would have to be convinced of the benefits on a street-by-street basis. I would rather see cars and bikes and pedestrains completely separated on separate "roads" to minimise collisions rather than tinkering with speed limites. In any case, I understand that the police cannot enforce 20mph limits, so they would only apply to 'honest' drivers anyway and these are probably least likely to cause the accidents through speeding in the first place. Since I believe in less laws rather than more and only introducing laws that are going to be enforced, I do not on balance believe that this is a necessary improvement.

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

I do and the speed of traffic on Fen Road, Green End Road, Nuffield Road and Union Land has come up as an issue in canvassing. I support the need for 20 mph limits on residential roads and areas near schools.

(Labour Party)

Local councillors are elected by local residents in specific areas of the city. In the first instance I would listen and speak up for Petersfield Residents. In regards for Petersfield I strongly advocated not only a 20 mph for Mill Road but for the same to be applied to all the streets connecting Mill Road to be the same. I'm pleased to see this has been accepted and will be implemented. As a principle I'm in favour of it in most parts of the city but I would respect the views of those elected to represent those parts.

(Labour Party)

I do and the speed of traffic on Barton Road, Grantchester Road and Grange Road has come up as an issue in canvassing. One young mother in Fulbrooke Road told me that she couldn’t allow her child to walk to school; such was the danger of Grantchester Road. I support the need for 20 mph limits on residential roads and areas near schools such as Newnham Croft Primary.

(Labour Party)

I agree with this in principle and will support it subject to a thorough investigation jointly by both the city and county councils as to its viability and feasibility. I also support the efforts of Labour Councillors on this.

Godson LAWAL
(Labour Party)

Reducing the road speed limit on our local roads will give us, the cyclists and the pedestrians that sense of safety and security. So 20mph is the ideal speed limit for our local roads and that will encourage more people to do a lot of walking and riding. Walking and riding means better health for the people and reduction of health cost.

(Labour Party)

Whilst broadly in favour of the 20mph speed limit for local roads, I am concerned as to enforceability. I am also aware that in my own street two signs have already been vandalised and believe that education/information in relation to the scheme, it's implementation and potential benefits have not sufficiently been conveyed to local residents.

(Labour Party)

In principle yes - but again with the caveat that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish a main connecting road from a residential road, especially in Arbury. This is something that would have to be carefully consulted upon, and the question of enforcement is one that would be pretty crucial in making such a move credible.

(Labour Party)

I agree that 20mph should be the speed limit in Cambridge.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

I agree that 20mph should be the standard speed in residential streets and areas. This could be implemented in consultation with residents' associations, parish councils, local police, and with the agreement of local residents.

Clare Frances BLAIR
(Liberal Democrat)

I think it is important to seek local views for specific streets but the principle of 20 mph is one I support.

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

I have actively campaigned for the 20s plenty campaign and would like to see it expanded beyond the existing streets and time periods. Once adopted, it does need to be enforced through fixed infrastructure and / or police presence.

(Liberal Democrat)


Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, for non-through routes, so that car drivers are not encouraged to use unsuitable "rat runs" but instead keep to main routes away from cyclists and pedestrians. (Also see question 7) This ties in to the previous question on traffic policing as we do now have this in much of Petersfield, but setting the limit alone is not enough - the discussion now moves on to how best to encourage drivers to obey the new, lower limits without needing to flood the area with police.

(Liberal Democrat)

Short answer: yes.

We have tried to get a 20 limit in Northfield Avenue, and I would like to see wider 20 limits.

Andrea Curti REINER
(Liberal Democrat)

Most of Market Ward already benefits from the 20 mph speed limit in the city centre, which I fully support. Residents who have attended the West Central Area Committees will know that I have also requested greater enforcement of the new speed limit, especially along Maids Causeway. The new 20 mph speed limit has worked very well for the city centre.

(Liberal Democrat)

I believe 20mph should be the norm in residential areas. That is why, along with my Lib Dem colleagues, we have expanded the 20mph zone to most of Romsey. The County Council refused to extend it to Coleridge Road and beyond, but we are confident that, with time, we will be able to extend it. 20mph zoning was trialled in Portsmouth where it was modestly successful. We hope it will make motorists more aware that Mill Road is a densely residential space shared with pedestrians, children and cyclists – not a corridor for them to barrel along at 30mph plus. (Speeds on the railway bridge are sometimes ridiculous.)

Julie Elizabeth SMITH
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. At present we have a bizarre situation in Newnham where Grange Road has a 20mph but the side roads don't, so there are a plethora of signs alerting people to the 30 mph in roads like Sidgwick Avenue and Herschel Road, giving every incentive to drivers to speed up. It would be infinitely preferable to have a single, enforcable and enforced, speed limit and 20mph would seem to be appropropriate in our residential areas. Moving to a 20mph is only the first step, however: it is vital to ensure that any speed limit is adequately enforced otherwise the benefits of reducing the limits will not be felt.

Philip Andrew TUCKER
(Liberal Democrat)

20mph has already been implemented in the area where I have lived for over twelve years. Any real improvement has yet to be identified but in theory it should improve safety.

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.