Azara Blog: St Ives Council thinks little of proposed 60 mph A14 speed limit

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Date published: 2005/06/13

The Cambridge Evening News says:

Enforcing a 60mph speed limit on the killer A14 is not the answer, it has been claimed.

St Ives Town Council was asked to consider the proposal by the Highways Agency, but has decided it is not enough to have a significant impact on safety.

"Cars are always stopping and starting on the road and travel bumper to bumper, and we think that would continue even if a limit were in place," said town clerk George Cooper.

"If there is a 60mph limit in place people will slam on their brakes just the same as they do now when they approach a speed camera."

Jason Ablewhite, Mayor of St Ives, said 13 councillors agreed more action needed to be taken.

"We are not against a 60mph limit, and support anything that improves the safety on the A14," he said. "But we just don't think it will have a great impact."

He told the News that a continuous speed monitoring system would have more impact.

"If they had cameras on bridges every half a mile, people would be forced to drive slower and keep a safe pace," he said.

"I also personally have a problem with the laybys. I think they are extremely dangerous and should be closed off until money can be spent to rectify the problem."

The Highways Agency is also suggesting a 60mph speed limit from north-west of the Spittals Interchange to east of Histon roundabout on the B1049.

Short sections of the A428 at the Girton interchange and the A1307 north-west of Cambridge would also be affected.

And a separate proposal suggests the introduction of a 40mph speed limit at the A14/ A141 Spittals interchange along with traffic signals.

The main problem with the A14 is that the design is dreadful and it is particularly dreadful (and dangerous) given the huge amount of traffic that uses it. The laybys are often extremely dangerous, being placed right next to exits, so that drivers in less than ideal conditions could mistake a layby for an exit slip road. (Amazingly enough this does not seem to happen that often.) Many of the entrances (and some of the exits) on the A14 are practically at 90 degrees to the road. The M11 - A14 - A428 interchange at Cambridge wastes a huge amount of space (e.g. parallel roads where they are not really needed) yet has a totally crazy design (e.g. two lanes of traffic which have to cross each other; and no way to get from the A428 to the M11). Is anyone in the Highways Agency willing to admit the situation is a mess and apologise for having to introduce the restricted speed limits?

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