April 14, 2008 12:00 AM

The County Council's Cabinet is set to reverse the decision it took last year which gave hope to people wanting to see 20mph speed limits in their streets.

At the meeting on 15 April, Cllr Mac McGuire, Cabinet member for Highways, will propose tighter conditions for introducing a 20mph limit.

The condition concerns the "self-enforced" speed of vehicles on the road. Under the Council's 2007 policy, a 20mph limit could be introduced where average vehicle speed is (or would be after traffic calming measures) 24mph or less, assuming no police enforcement. Cllr McGuire now wants this cut-off point to be lower, only 20mph.

Nichola Harrison, County Councillor for Petersfield, commented:

"In Petersfield, residents are pressing for 20mph controls in the Mill Road area. This extraordinary decision puts people's lives in danger. 20mph limits are proved to reduce accidents and many local communities are desperate to get them. I cannot believe the Tories are willing to add more pressure on our communities, especially the young and the elderly."

Councillor Judy Broadway, Lib Dem Spokeswoman for Transport, added:

"Without any warning or public consultation, the Cabinet has taken Cambridgeshire back into the dark ages, contrary to government guidance and normal practice in other councils. These underhand changes of policy are unacceptable, especially when people's lives are at stake. We will not allow this."


Notes to Editors

1) In 2006 the government adopted a policy of allowing 20mph limits on roads where mean self-enforcing vehicle speed is 24mph or less.

2) In July 2007 the County Council adopted a new speed policy which followed government guidance.

3) On 15 April 2008 the County Council's Cabinet agreed to change its policy on average speed from 24mph to 20mph.

4) Councillor Judy Broadway can be contacted at 07981 533 514

5) Councillor Nichola Harrison is available for comments at 07788 701 901

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