20mph speed limit in Newmarket Road and Maid's Causeway
The Council's consultation documents here and here showed how new 20 mph white roundels would be painted on the carriageway, together with coloured surface strips marking each end of the zone. It was noted that this was a very cheap fix at approx UKP7,500 and did not include road humps or cameras.
The basic question in the consultation was to ask people's opinion as to what colour these surfaces should be - green or red - but there was also a further question as to whether people actually approved of the limit itself. The results were clear:
- Red was the preferred colour by over 2:1
- Of the 107 people who responded 68% approved of the 20 mph limit
- When this figure is recalculated to measure local residents only the approval rating rises to 86%
- Residents are overwhelmingly in favour of this 20 mph limit and this result is similar to a number of other surveys conducted in iconic cities such as York, Bristol and Chichester
The roundels themselves have already been painted on, but we await the coloured entrance strips, it has to be said with some impatience as these are long overdue. We are pressing the council to get on with it.
The proposals may not go as far as we had hoped but we believe represent an improvement over the current situation. Time will tell if this new level of signage makes a significant difference: with the previous almost invisible signage using small roadside 20 signs, over 50% of road users were speeding.
The police at the time refused to engage in any serious enforcement arguing that the previous signage was insufficient and that drivers may well have been unaware of the limit, but this excuse is now removed and the way is clear for enforcement in the future. Importantly this is supported by the new Police and Crime Commissioner for the area Sir Graham Bright and the Executive Councillor on the City wide 20 mph scheme ( see below) Tim Ward is also on record to this effect.
In the meantime, the council will be monitoring any difference in speed on Maid's Causeway and Newmarket Road as a result of the new roundels. If none is sustainably achieved we may lobby for more measures e.g. a camera to be considered. One problem the police currently have in enforcement is that their hi-viz clothing tends to alert drivers who then slow down.
In a similar vein and as mentioned above, the council is proposing a City Wide 20 mph scheme, covering pretty well all residential roads ( but not current A and B roads). Our Co-Chair, Hugh Kellett, sits on the management board or steering group for this project. Andy Campbell, MD of Stagecoach, is also a member and has committed to get his drivers obeying the limit. Ditto representatives from the various taxi organisations.
There is a consultation in progress in the north of the City with results due in the autumn. If this consultation is positive, which we believe it will be, the whole City will gradually "go 20" over the next 2 years, and join a growing list of forward thinking cities who are adopting this new approach. For a resume of the benefits of 20 mph to all road users, pedestrians, cyclists and local residents why not take a look at the council's own site which is pretty good at or the 20's Plenty site