Lower limit better than traffic calming

I WAS pleased to see in The Hunts Post (May 7) that £25,000 has been allocated for traffic calming measures on Sapley Road, Hartford.  My only concern is that these funds will be diverted to a higher priority case and that once again the residents of Ha

I WAS pleased to see in The Hunts Post (May 7) that £25,000 has been allocated for traffic calming measures on Sapley Road, Hartford. My only concern is that these funds will be diverted to a "higher priority" case and that once again the residents of Hartford, especially those who live on or near Sapley Road, will be left in the lurch and will have to spend another 10 years trying to secure funds.

Sapley Road is notorious for both speeding and being used as a "rat run" during peak traffic hours. Several years ago Councillor Ramon Wilkinson persuaded the police to carry out a census on the road. They reported that at that time it was the second worst road in Cambridgeshire for speeding. Despite this, nothing further was done other than for sporadic speed checks by the Police.

The current situation is that there are two speed limit areas: a 30mph limit from the junction with Main Street to the Junction with Coneygear Road and a 40mph limit from the junction with Coneygear Road to where Sapley Road joins Kings Ripton Road.

The road is used as a "rat run" by motorists, especially during the morning and evening peaks to gain access from and to the St Peter's Road industrial areas. A high percentage of these motorists regularly exceed the speed limit.

The reason it is used as a "rat run" is because the northern bypass gets very congested at the Kings Ripton roundabout in the morning and evening peaks.

Pedestrians from the "Birds of Prey" estate to the east of Sapley Road have to run the gauntlet to cross the road because there are no pedestrian crossings. Schoolchildren are especially vulnerable because they have to cross the road to get to or from school when the traffic volume is at its highest. Although there have not been any serious injuries or deaths, my daughters have lost a total of five cats on Sapley Road - these could just as easily been children.

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It is good to see the improvements being made to the footpath on the west side of Sapley Road to incorporate a cycle track and the extension of this to join St Peter's Road. However, people who live to the east of Sapley Road will have to cross Sapley Road to access this facility.

The Hunts Post report states that the design of the traffic calming is not yet fixed and that they wish to hear people's ideas on what they wish to see in Sapley Road. £25,000 is not a large sum and it needs to be spent wisely to achieve the two objectives of reducing speeding and making it safer to cross Sapley Road.

I do not believe that we would get sufficient conventional traffic calming measures (chicanes and ramps) for this sum to calm the full length of the road.

My proposal is for the whole of Sapley Road to be made a 30mph speed limit. This would reduce speed on the overall length of the road, thus reducing the accident risk. The cost of this measure would be the administrative action required and the replacement of the speed limit signs.

I also suggest installation of two controlled pedestrian crossings, a southern one near the junction of either Owl Way or Mill Close to cater for the pedestrians who live in the southern sector of the "Birds of Prey" estate, and a northern one near the junction of Coneygear Road for those at the northern end of the road. These crossings would help to reduce speed by their operation and would give pedestrians a safe crossing of Sapley Road.

Both these measures would reduce speed on Sapley Road and make crossing the road safer without disrupting the traffic flow as would be the case with conventional traffic calming.

I also believe that speeding on Sapley Road should be viewed as a prevalent offence. The police should mount an aggressive anti-speeding campaign, take a zero tolerance attitude to speeding on Sapley Road and prosecute offenders. The courts should support the police by imposing heavy fines and awarding six penalty points for speeding on Sapley Road. Word would soon get round that speeding on Sapley Road is not a good idea.


Othello Close


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