Huntingdon is latest Cambridgeshire town where 20mph zones could be introduced

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The move could affect Peterborough commuters – but Cambridgeshire County Council says journey times won’t significantly increase

Huntingdon is the latest Cambridgeshire town where 20mph zones are being considered.

Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) says the scheme will be discussed at a meeting in July.

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Several other towns and villages in the county already have 20mph zones, including Stilton, just south of Peterborough, and several around Huntingdon including Woodhurst and Godmanchester.

A proposal to introduce a 20mph zone in Huntingdon will be discussed at a council meeting in JulyA proposal to introduce a 20mph zone in Huntingdon will be discussed at a council meeting in July
A proposal to introduce a 20mph zone in Huntingdon will be discussed at a council meeting in July

Others, further south and closer to Cambridge, include Somersham, Great Gransden, Toft, Oakington, Barton, Hauxton, Melbourn, Sawston and Duxford.

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More still, including some around Royston such as in Fowlmere and Meldreth, are still in the process of being implemented, with consultation being undertaken with local parish and town councils.

CCC says the scheme is aimed at making streets safer, encouraging residents to walk and cycle and reducing noise and pollution.

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It will also enable “a more equitable use of the road space for all users (vulnerable road users, sustainable transport, businesses, and car users)”, it says.

The council opens applications for new 20mph zones once per year and allocates £150k towards implementing them with money that comes via the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).

This won’t apply to Peterborough as its transport authority is Peterborough City Council (PCC), but could affect commuters who regularly travel in and out of the city to Huntingdon or Cambridge.

CCC says, though, that research suggests “journey times do not significantly increase” as a result of 20mph zones.

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It also says that “slower speeds encourage a smoother driving style”, which can alleviate congestion, and could also reduce the number of cars on the road by encouraging people to walk or cycle.

“Driving at 20mph causes some vehicular emissions to rise slightly (mainly Heavy Goods Vehicles) and some (car) to fall,” it continues.

“Reduced acceleration and braking will help to reduce fuel consumption and the associated particulate emissions from items such as tyres and brakes.”

Implementing 20mph zones in Peterborough have been discussed by PCC several times.

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A task and finish group investigated the possibility in 2014 before concluding that more evidence of its impacts was needed before a decision could be made.

Another group considered introducing the speed limit in parts of Werrington in 2018, while in 2021 it suggested implementing it across several roads in Hargate and Hempsted.

In 2022, a motion was brought to a council meeting suggesting all residential roads in Peterborough should have a 20mph speed limit.

But while it’s been implemented in specific areas, it’s never unilaterally been imposed across the city as it has in parts of Cambridgeshire.

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Implementing the scheme in Huntingdon will be discussed at a highways and transport meeting.

CCC previously suggested the scheme had been approved, but an error which meant some public consultation responses weren’t considered before this decision means it will be looked at again.

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