Godmanchester safety measures disappoint

SPEEDING through any built up area is always a problem that rates high on a residents agenda. Godmanchester is about to push Cambridgeshire County Council make the town a 20mph zone, a move I fully support. But will it ever come into existence? The Gover

SPEEDING through any built up area is always a problem that rates high on a residents' agenda.

Godmanchester is about to push Cambridgeshire County Council make the town a 20mph zone, a move I fully support. But will it ever come into existence?

The Government is thought to be cutting back its capital expenditure by 50 per cent. The county council also has a very serious budget problem.

We keep our fingers crossed that the proposed new A14 and the �8million Godmanchester flood prevention scheme will still get Government approval.


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Regrettably, we have seen how Godmanchester gets treated with its road schemes. When you compare the recent 'road safety' improvements in London Road, Godmanchester, with those that span the road at Sapley or at Coneygear (both in Huntingdon), the word 'disappointing' is an understatement.

Is the safety our children not as important as that of those who live in Huntingdon?

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The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) reviewed results from 250 20mph zones in England, Wales and Scotland. The main findings indicated that average speeds reduced by nine mph, annual accident frequency fell by 60 per cent, the overall reduction in child accidents was 67 per cent, and there was an overall reduction in accidents to cyclists of 29 per cent.

I was delighted to be part of a training session with the PCSOs recently on the Speedwatch programme in Godmanchester. This is a programme where local people can borrow equipment from the police and set it up in their own streets. It informs motorists they are exceeding the speed limit. The police then notify the offending motorist.

But isn't this a bit like taking the law into your own hands? Is it right to expect local residents to help enforce speeding offences?

Maybe there is a perfectly sound reason why the new road safety measures in London Road are as they are. Most people in Godmanchester consider it a waste of money.

What Godmanchester expects from our county council is to be treated equally with Huntingdon when it comes to road safety. If we are not, then we surely are a special case.

There are six 20mph trials planned across Cambridgeshire - in St Ives, Whittlesey, Soham, Melbourn, Cambridge city and Wulfstan Way, Cambridge. The county council has found the money to fund these.

If the county council were to have chosen Godmanchester for a 20mph trial, it would have been prepared to consider only The Causeway.

New Government guidance encourages councils to consider a wider use of 20mph street limits, without costly and large traffic-calming measures.

While I was representing Godmanchester as one of its county councillors, along with Jeff Dutton, we both pushed for a safer Godmanchester but were told this was not possible due to lack of funding.

Let us hope Godmanchester will not be forgotten, or will the county council run out of money after the planned trials finish?

COLIN HYAMS

Bluegate

Godmanchester

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