PAPWORTH Everard could still get a 20mph speed limit through the village – but only if the residents pay the additional £50,000 cost of reducing speeds from the present 40mph. With the completion of the village s £8.7million bypass earlier this year, Camb
PAPWORTH Everard could still get a 20mph speed limit through the village - but only if the residents pay the additional £50,000 cost of reducing speeds from the present 40mph.
With the completion of the village's £8.7million bypass earlier this year, Cambridgeshire County Council has backed a speed limit reduction through the village to 30mph and was prepared to fund additional traffic calming.
But a 20mph limit must be self-enforcing - physical measures that make it impossible for motorists to achieve speeds above 25mph - and the county could not afford the extra bill on top of the £170,000 it is already set to spend on reducing the limit to 30mph.
But yesterday's (Tuesday) county cabinet meeting re-opened the door to Papworth Parish Council paying the extra cost of halving the current speed limit.
County engineers have already worked out what measures would be required to achieve the 20mph limit, and it will be up to villagers to decide whether to support and pay for those measures.
The process can be fast-tracked because of that work, with the area traffic management committee considering the plans in late spring, followed by public consultation.
If residents support the proposals - and previous soundings by the parish council suggest that is likely - the extra work could added to the county's 30mph measures.
The additional measures would cover a 400m stretch of the road in the centre of the village to create a near-pedestrianised area, said parish council chairman Les Carr.
"This is what we've been fighting for and we've already raised the money, so we don't need an extra precept," a delighted Councillor Carr told The Hunts Post yesterday.
"It has been a long, hard battle, but we have managed to win them over.
"We have something like 35-40 per cent social housing in the village, most of it occupied by people who are special needs-disabled. The bypass has removed lorries, but we have noticed that this has speeded the cars up. We need to slow them down.
"It will be almost like a pedestrianised area for about 400 yards in the centre of the village."
Cllr Carr said a majority of villagers had backed the 20mph plan in an unofficial referendum last year.
"What we don't want is for this village to be used as a rat-run," he added.
The weight limit through the village has already been reduced to 7.5 tonnes since the bypass opened.
Since January 2004, there have been two slight injury accidents on the stretch that could be covered by the 20mph limit, the county council's cabinet heard.