Slow down to save Royston Cave

PUBLISHED: 10:08 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:54 11 May 2010

20mph is the town council's target for Melbourn Street.

20mph is the town council's target for Melbourn Street.

A SPEED limit of 20mph could be introduced in Melbourn Street and other roads in Royston town centre in a bid to safeguard the future of Royston Cave. Royston Town Council s general purpose and highways committee decided this week to ask Hertfordshire Hig

A SPEED limit of 20mph could be introduced in Melbourn Street and other roads in Royston town centre in a bid to safeguard the future of Royston Cave.

Royston Town Council's general purpose and highways committee decided this week to ask Hertfordshire Highways to impose the speed limit and stop further damage being caused to the historic cave.

The speed limit could also be introduced in Mill Road, Queens Road, and Stamford Avenue to avoid them becoming what councillors described as a "rat run".

Cllr Mike Harrison said: "We must guard against drivers using the Mill Road area as an alternate route."

Other measures which will be requested include double yellow lines and bollards to be installed outside Lloyds Bank, and changes to the sequencing of the traffic lights to control traffic flow.

The decision follows a site meeting which took place in Melbourn Street last month.

This involved members of the town council and North Hertfordshire District Council.

However, Cllr Rod Kennedy believes the only way to protect the cave is for a vehicle weight limit to be put in place.

While councillors agreed to keep that on the agenda, there are no plans for one to be put in place imminently.

Cllr Kennedy said: "There is no need for heavy goods vehicles to go through that road at all.

"The sooner we get a weight limit in place the better."

Traffic has been causing damage for some time to the unique cave, which is thought to have been used as a refuge by the Knights Templar.

At last month's district council Royston area committee meeting, Cllr Peter Burt said that Herts Highways had taken an "appalling attitude" to the cave.

"When the highways authority says it needs justification to do any work to protect the cave then it must be joking," he added.


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