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Anna Bailey fumes at 20mph limit for Ely but her own council welcomes ‘cleaner air and safer travel’

East Cambs Council tweeted: ‘These changes will help create a more accessible environment for everyone in Ely’

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East Cambridgeshire District Council welcomed a new 20mph speed limit throughout Ely – or have they? Despite the council using their X (Twitter) feed to send a message of support out to their 5,000 followers, council leader Anna Bailey remains less than enamoured of the proposal.

In an angry statement today, she claimed the decision to introduce a 20mph restriction had nothing to do with her or the district council but was a decision “taken behind closed doors”.

Reconciling both statements is challenging.

The council tweeted: “In response to local demand, and following consultation with residents, the Ely 20mph zone is expanding to cover the entirety of Ely.

“Works to install these changes begin Monday, 4 March, and are expected to last around four weeks. No roads will be closed, so disruption should be minimal.

“These changes will help create a more accessible environment for everyone in Ely, with cleaner air and safer travel. #SaferStreets

But in a post to local Facebook groups – headed ‘Decision about Ely’s 20mph Speed Limit was Taken Behind Closed Doors’ – Cllr Bailey criticised the decision.

“I am receiving a lot of emails and messages from people that are angry about the blanket 20mph speed limit being introduced in Ely, with many saying they are upset that they were not asked what they thought about the idea in advance,” she wrote.

“To be clear, this is a decision of Cambridgeshire County Council as the highways authority – the work to bring it in is due to start on 4th March.”

And she was clear it was everyone – except Conservatives – behind it.

“The Liberal Democrat, Labour, Independent coalition administration at Cambridgeshire County Council created a special budget for 20mph speed limits across the county and invited parish councils that were interested to come forward,” she wrote.

“The City of Ely Council put in an expression of interest – they weren’t able to debate this at a public meeting and no consultation was carried out by them as the county council deadline did not allow enough time.”

Cllr Bailey said the county council held a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) consultation last summer.

“I managed to get this consultation extended, but even so, the county council did absolutely nothing to promote it beyond the statutory minimum (which is very minimal indeed),” said Cllr Bailey.

“The parish councils around Ely were not specifically consulted at all and neither was the District Council.

“Nevertheless, East Cambs District Council responded to the consultation and objected, calling for a more evidence-based street by street approach.

“Only 195 people responded to the consultation.”

She added: “The decision to go ahead was taken behind closed doors IN A MEETING THAT THE PUBLIC COULD NOT ATTEND – a so called delegated decision meeting’.

“The decision was made by a county council Officer in consultation with the two local county councillors for Ely, that’s Cllr Alison Whelan and Cllr Piers Coutts.

“If you want to write to them about this their contact details can be found here: https://cambridgeshire.cmis.uk.com/ccc_live/Councillors.aspx

 

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