Calls to cut Cambs rural road speed limits

SPEED limits on many rural roads across Cambridgeshire could be reduced in a bid to cut the county s motoring death toll. Cambridgeshire County Council is spending the next four years reviewing speed limits on more than 1,000 miles of 60mph rural A road

SPEED limits on many rural roads across Cambridgeshire could be reduced in a bid to cut the county's motoring death toll.

Cambridgeshire County Council is spending the next four years reviewing speed limits on more than 1,000 miles of 60mph rural A roads in a bid to stem Cambridgeshire's unusually high level of fatalities.

In 2008 there were 60 people killed on the country's roads - many on rural roads - and so far this year a further seven people have died following collisions.

One of the first roads to be affected is the A1123 between Hartford and St Ives, where county engineers are proposing to reduce the 60mph limit to 50mph - except on Houghton Hill, where it will be cut to 40mph.


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The review will then take in roads across the county, potentially reducing many 60mph speed limits.

A county council spokesman said: "A key objective of the speed limit policy is to achieve lower vehicle speeds, rather than simply lowering speed limits in the hope that they will achieve lower speeds.

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"The assessment framework recognises that drivers are influenced more by the road environment than any speed limit itself.

"The mean speeds along sections of the A1123 support a 50mph limit."

However, Councillor Ian Bates, who represents the area on both the county council and Huntingdonshire District Council, believes that the A1123 limit should be cut to 40mph for its entire length, and says he is backed by local people.

The county believes that the drivers of most of the 21,400 vehicles that use it each day would ignore a lower limit and adds that the majority of accidents, including two fatalities, on the road are speed related.

In three years there were 31 crashes in which speed was identified as a factor.

Cllr Bates, leader of HDC, told The Hunts Post yesterday (Tuesday): "I'm still not happy. I originally wanted a 30mph limit, but I accept that's not realistic."

He pointed to 300 new homes due to be built at the top of Houghton Road in St Ives, the accident-prone junction with the B1090, homes on both sides of the road on Houghton Hill, access to and egress from Houghton and Wyton, the two marinas and the major accident blackspot at Huntingdon Garden & Leisure.

"If you take all that into account, I believe it's sensible to have a 40mph limit all along the route. Not only do I think it's right, but the people who live there think so too."

The Huntingdonshire traffic management area joint committee will have decide whether to endorse the speed limit reduction at its meeting next Monday (April 20) or go along with Cllr Bates.

The plan will then require the county council cabinet's approval.

Would you support a speed limit reduction on rural A roads or more enforcement of the current 60mph limits? E-mail your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk

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