Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats

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Policy Paper: Speed Limits


The Liberal Democrat Group at Cambridgeshire County Council is calling for changes to the County’s speed limit policy to protect communities from the impact of traffic. The Liberal Democrats argue for speed limit reductions which will lead to:

– Fewer accidents and reduction in severity of accidents
– Better conditions for cyclists and pedestrians
– Reduced damage to local communities through noise and air pollution
– Reduction in C02 emissions

The four key elements of the Liberal Democrats’ community-friendly speed limit policy are:

1. Make it easier to introduce new 30mph limits. The present policy makes this possible, without expensive traffic calming measures, only where the current mean speed is below 30mph. The Liberal Democrats would raise that figure to 40mph.

2. Make it easier to reduce 40mph speed limits to 30mph. Subject to funds being available, and subject to there being no safety or technical objection, existing 40mph limits would be reduced to 30mph wherever requested by the local District, City, Town and Parish Councils. A child hit by a vehicle at 40mph has a 20% chance of survival. Hit by a vehicle at 30mph it has an 80% chance of survival.

3. Make it easier to reduce 30mph speed limits to 20mph. Subject to funds being available, subject to there being no safety or technical objection, and subject to approval by the relevant Area Joint Committee, 20mph speed limits would be introduced in all cases where the local District, City, Town, and Parish Council so requests. Where mean speeds are over 30mph it will be necessary to introduce complementary speed reduction features. This policy change would enable communities in Cambridgeshire to follow the example of Portsmouth where, largely for child safety reasons, a blanket 20mph speed limit has been applied to all residential areas.

4. Make it easier to install interactive speed limit signs. The rules would be changed to make it easier to introduce interactive speed limit signs, particularly in those cases where the capital and maintenance costs are fully funded by a District, City, Town, or Parish Council.