Azara Blog: Cambridge city council wants to blow 460k on 20 mph limit

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Date published: 2011/12/25

The Cambridge News says:

Imposing a city-wide 20mph speed limit in Cambridge would cost taxpayers around £460,000 - and Guildhall chiefs are set to stump up the cash.

After months of complaints that existing "slow zones" are not observed because they cover a patchwork of arbitrarily selected streets interspersed with roads that have 30mph maximums, the city council has proposed a two-year project to design and implement more comprehensive restrictions.

At this stage it is thought a city-wide scheme would leave the main arterial routes and the ring road at 30mph and then consolidate existing 20mph limits in the historic centre as well as rolling them out in residential areas.
Cllr Tim Ward, the council's transport boss, said the project included a review of what works currently and what doesn't, as well as consultation.

He argued lowering speed limits in one go was cheaper and more effective than doing it step-by-step, and said all but £60,000 of the bill would be capital funding, which cannot bankroll day-to-day services.

Cllr Ward said: "We think it's an appropriate use of a one-off sum of money, given that we can't spend it on continuing services."

This illustrates the reason why ordinary people do not like politicians. First of all, they purposefully created 20mph speed limits in a few random places. Then they did not sign post them properly. Then, surprise, nobody obeyed the speed limits. Then, surprise, the politicians blamed drivers, not themselves, for this. Then, surprise, the politicians have now decided that the best "solution" to the "problem" is to just propagate the zones everywhere (or almost everywhere, since they haven't bothered to tell anyone yet what they are going to do).

And hopefully the quotes from Tim Ward were taken out of context, because they are unbelievably dumb. Guess what, if the city has lots of money to spend, it doesn't have to spend it, it can instead send the money back to the taxpayer. Just having money to blow on some pet project is not a good enough reason to blow the money. Unfortunately politicians seem not to understand this. Of course Ward can make the usual sanctimonious middle class anti-car arguments, if he wants to "justify" throwing all this money at a non-problem looking for a non-solution.

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