Wednesday, 9 April 2014

20mph zone already failing in Cambridge

Well we've got it now, at least in North Cambridge, and its crap.

Its crap because our police force have no intention of enforcing it. They never did really, so councillors who believe in the 20mph limit and some residents go together to set this as a police priority in Cambridge North Area, at one of the regular committee meetings where such things are set - and subsequently the Police have said they'll only enforce 20mph limits in exceptonal circumstances (or 'never' if they're honest).

So we've got a 20mph limit coming in across Cambridge. This is absurdly popular, despite the 20mph limitation of not being imposed on some of the more hazardous roads. The only stalling point appears to be our police force; even Graham Bright, our Police Commisioner who is a notorious anti-cycling, pro-motor lobby apologist for bad road policing is in favour of policing this.

So democratically elected councillors call for it. Our MP is in favour of the 20mph limits. Our 'democratically elected' (fogey with a blue rosette chosen by fenland villages, to be exact) police commissioner wants it enforced and the people of Cambridge when polled are overwhelmingly supportive of it. Yet the Police don't particularly like it so they're not enforcing it. So when I ride my bike home through 20mph roads at approaching that speed later, I'll be forced against the kerb by angry motorists who still think doing 35mph is okay.

This isn't right. This is not right, at all.

Now what do you call it when the Police force pick and choose which laws to enforce and who to enforce them on? When the very clear demand exists to enforce a law but the Police refuse to do so because they don't want to? Not wishing to sound hyperbolic, but it ain't a democracy.


  1. There has been a 30 mph limit on most urban roads since 1935. between 40% - 50% motorists break ti when they can.

    So this is nothing new.

    Dr. Robert Davis, Chair RDRF

    1. True, which is why when we introduce a new limit we need a new effort - culture of law breaking is so prevailent, we need to crack it.

  2. the only way to enforce them properly is to install average speed cameras... the benefit then is that with traffic calmed by fear of being ticketed, you can then remove all the speed humps and chicanes put into place in previous attempts to get them slowed down and then enjoy driving and riding on roads that are pleasant again and emergency vehicles can drive on them without having to hit the brakes for every speed hump/chicane...

  3. The crazy thing is that this is one of the few offences where it's possible to automatically detect it, identify the law-breaker, and fine them appropriately, without even requiring police action. And the fines would cover the cost of the kit.

    Imagine if it were so simple to do the same thing with other offences. But, of course, the hand-wringing daily mail readers and top gear fans have all but banned speed cameras from our roads. In fact, the signs to alert drivers to their locations practically imply that it's ok to break the speed limit elsewhere.