20 mph centre

This article was published in 2009, in Newsletter 84.

Cambridge City Centre has had some rather piecemeal 20 mph speed limits for a while, partly as a result of our representations in the past.

Thank you

However, the County Council has now agreed to extend this to the area inside the inner ring road. This was one of the visions we put forward in Cycling 2020, so we are very pleased to see the Council adopt it. It means there will be a consistency in the whole zone.

The press, of course, made a meal of the whole thing. The police tried to sink the scheme by saying they couldn’t enforce it (very dubious behaviour from a body that is supposed to serve the public), but then, presumably with some arm-twisting behind the scenes, they did a complete reversal within a couple of days claiming to suddenly have acquired new equipment.

It is not clear yet exactly what the boundary will be. The De Freville area in particular is rather separate geographically and in character from the rest – though of course it would benefit from a 20 mph limit just like every other residential area. More serious would be attempts to exclude Victoria Avenue, as this would undermine the coherence of the whole scheme.

Oxford ahead of the game

Having accepted the principle in this area, we hope that it will only be a matter of time now before all the City’s residential areas get a 20 mph speed limit. A policy decision to impose this city-wide would be so much more straightforward than taking it in small chunks. That’s what’s happening in a few streets between Huntingdon Road and Histon Road, for example.

Several towns have already gone ahead with substantial 20 mph town-wide schemes. As Jim mentions in the next article, Portsmouth is the trailblazer here.

But in the last month, and in the teeth of police opposition there as well, Oxfordshire County Council has agreed that Oxford should proceed with a City-wide scheme in residential areas.

If Oxford can do it, so can Cambridge!

David Earl