Next week sees the start of a 12-month trial of a 20mph zone in the centre of Cambridge that the county council hopes will bring about a reduction in accidents and improve the environment, as well as prompting more people to walk or ride their bikes around the heart of the university city.
Signs advertising the reduced speed limit are going up around the area covered by the trial, which comprises all the streets bounded by the inner ring road and the River Cam, with the exception of Victoria Avenue. Some of the streets within that zone already have a 20mph limit, but the trial, which will start once all the new signage is in place, extends that across the entire area.
During the trial period, Cambridgeshire County Council will conduct speed surveys and keep a watch on accident levels, while perception levels will also be surveyed during the year. The council adds that it will consider implementing “retrospective speed management measures” on streets in which drivers fail to comply with the new limit.
The council said that it had decided to implement the trial following similar schemes in Portsmouth and Newcastle, together with Department for Transport guidance suggesting that 20mph limits can reduce casualty levels and make conditions better for vulnerable road users.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mac McGuire, Cabinet Member for Highways and Access, commented: “Improving safety on our roads is my number one objective. This new scheme is a step forward in reducing accidents and encouraging more people to use their cycles and walk. By making the area safer it is more likely people will want to walk or cycle and therefore reduce congestion and improve the environment. We will be keeping a close eye on the scheme and reviewing it after a year.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.