Tories delay city's vital road safety projects

March 31, 2009 1:38 PM
Alan Baker

Cllr Alan Baker

Crucial decisions on vital road safety improvements for Cambridge city centre have been delayed six months.

Plans to introduce a reduced speed limit near Addenbrooke's Hospital, a residents' parking scheme and cycling improvements are awaiting approval from Cambridgeshire County Council.

But the Tory-run council has said that, although the schemes were recommended by city and county councillors in January, they will not be discussed by Cabinet until July.

"This is outrageous", said Councillor Alan Baker, chair of the Cambridge Environment and Traffic Management Area Joint Committee which recommended the schemes. "Such a long delay shows that the county council does not take seriously the traffic problems of Cambridge city.

"If the Cabinet rejects our recommendations - which is very likely - it will show the disregard that the county council has for the views of the residents of Cambridge and their elected representatives."

The projects waiting for approval are:

• A residents' parking scheme for Rathmore Road and the western arm of Hartington Grove - based on the results of an extensive public consultation of residents in the area bounded by Cherry Hinton Road, Hills Road and Blinco Grove.

• Removing the right turn ban for cyclists from Gresham Road onto Gonville Place - supported by the Cambridge Cycling Campaign.

• Extending the 30mph speed limit along the whole length of the new Addenbrooke's Hospital access road, part of which is proposed at present to have a 40mph limit and another part a 30mph limit.

Area joint committee vice-chair, Cllr Kevin Wilkins said: "These schemes have been put forward because they are wanted and needed by the people of Cambridge. But that seems to carry no weight with the county council, which is clearly working to its own timescales.

"While the county council drags its feet making simple decisions, the people of Cambridge are left not knowing whether these popular changes will ever likely see the light of day. This is totally unacceptable."

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