Plans for 20mph speed limit trial in Melbourn scrapped

PUBLISHED: 16:51 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:14 11 May 2010

PLANS for a 20mph speed limit in Melbourn have been scrapped after an unprecedented number of objections from irate residents. The trial limit had been set to be implemented on all roads in the village this spring, but after 101 objections were submitte

PLANS for a 20mph speed limit in Melbourn have been scrapped after an "unprecedented" number of objections from irate residents.

The trial limit had been set to be implemented on all roads in the village this spring, but after 101 objections were submitted during a consultation period, highways bosses on Cambridgeshire County Council's area joint traffic management committee decided to pull the plug on the scheme at their meeting on Monday.

A spokesman for the county council said: "After further discussions with the parish council and taking into account the unprecedented level of objections received, the area joint committee took the very difficult decision not to proceed."

As reported in The Crow last week, Melbourn Parish Council had decided to back the scheme, on the proviso that buffer zones with a speed limit of 30mph could be introduced on the main roads entering the village.

However the meeting heard that this would not be possible unless it was done as a separate application, and this prompted the village's county councillor, Susan van de Ven, to withdraw her support for the plans.

She said: "The success of any trial would depend on a community willingness to make it work, and a community that is in disagreement is the wrong foundation on which to begin."

Cllr van de Ven had also raised concerns about how the limit would be enforced by local police. She went on to express her "huge thanks" to the parish council and local residents for their willingness to discuss the matter.

She added: "Adopting a pioneering role is not easy and I hope that the steps we have taken collectively will contribute useful knowledge to the introduction of future speed limit reduction schemes elsewhere."

Cllr Mike Linnette, spokesman for the parish council, said: "It seems a shame that they have taken this decision on the basis of complaints from what is a very small percentage of the village's population.

"Generally people tend to shout louder when they are against an issue than when they are for it. We had heard a lot of positive comments about the trial from visitors."

Melbourn would have been the first village in Cambridgeshire to adopt the limit after Girton rejected the chance to be part of the trial late last year.

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