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LETTER: I am proud to have played my part in getting 20mph limit for Ely

It’s not all been plain sailing. Support did wane among Conservative colleagues

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I am delighted that Ely is going to get a 20mph zone. It’s the right thing to do for the city.  
Apart from vastly reducing the costly emotional and financial impact of injuries and fatalities caused by road traffic incidents, there are many other benefits.

These include:

  • Reduced congestion and fewer idling vehicles emitting harmful fumes
  • Reduced acceleration limits emissions improving air quality for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Fewer vehicles lead to fewer emissions helping Cambridgeshire to contribute to internal legal commitments to NetZero
  • Safer roads attract more active travel improving health
  • Sense of community is enhanced without speeding vehicles dividing them

It’s been a long journey to get here, but well worth taking the time to make sure the scheme is the right one for Ely and, most importantly, has public backing.

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I introduced the concept of reducing speeds in Ely to 20mph in 2020. It gained unanimous cross-party support because it instantly addresses all the ‘accidents waiting to happen’ relating to speed that residents raise with the council.

Labour campaign in Ely for 20mph limit

Labour campaign in Ely for 20mph limit

It’s not all been plain sailing. Support did wane among Conservative colleagues who sought to limit the scope by introducing it on individual roads rather than across the city.

However, the majority agree that the wider the area covered by 20mph, the sooner drivers will lower their speed as a matter of habit whenever they enter an urban area, which is where people are.

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After a lengthy consultation period, the public backed the scheme with 62% positive comments for the new 20mph scheme and 38% against.

Championing 20mph limits in areas where people live was part of Labour’s manifesto for East Cambridgeshire and I’m proud to have played my part in bringing this improvement to Ely.

20mph in Ely will  enhance the special sense of community in Ely making it an even better place to live, work in and visit. Bring on the implantation plans!

I look forward to reporting on the improvements here and hope we see similar success to other parts of the county such as Oakington where they saw a reduction in average speed from 36mph to 24mph. Great news!

Rebecca Denness is a Labour city councillor for Ely

 

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