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Applications due to open for new 20mph schemes

23 February 2023

Applications can soon be submitted for new 20mph schemes in Cambridgeshire to help improve road safety and reduce pollution.

Cambridgeshire County Council has put in place a new process and funding to install more 20mph zones or limits, with around eight expected to be delivered in each application period (per year).

Between 27 February and 28 April this year, applications can be submitted by any person as long as they have the support of their local parish/town council and county councillor. Once an application has been submitted it will be processed and prioritised, until all schemes have been delivered.

Improving road safety through 20mph schemes is a priority of the council’s Joint Administration which has highlighted several benefits from the programme, including safer streets which allow residents to feel safe when walking or cycling and reduced noise and pollution.

Overall, more than a dozen 20mph areas have been created in the past year, and extra new ones will be established more quickly this year thanks to the council’s Highways and Transport Committee agreeing to speed up the process and identifying funding. In addition to the £400,000 for this process (until 2025), a further £800,000 has been secured in partnership with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, for area-based schemes, across the county.

A 20mph limit will be prioritised against the following criteria:

  •             evidence of traffic incidents or potential dangers within an existing 30/40mph zone
  •             vulnerable road users
  •             visible homes, shops and businesses
  •             a school or a school route
  •             a cycling route
  •             an area that would benefit from more active travel such as cycling and walking.

Schemes deemed eligible for the 2023/24 window will be approved in September, with construction taking place between April and August 2024 following design work and consultation.

Changes will see signs and lines installed alongside a county-wide media campaign to ensure residents are informed in advance.

Either a 20mph limit or a 20mph zone will be installed depending on the specific location. A 20mph limit typically covers individual or a small number of streets and requires signs only, whereas 20mph zones typically cover larger areas and require both signs and markings.

To find out more about which schemes are eligible, and to submit an application, visit:

Cllr Alex Beckett, chair of the Highways and Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Speed kills. Studies have shown even a 1mph drop in speed reduces collisions by 6%. Reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph can cut pollution by 30% and reduce the chance of a severe or fatal injury in the event of a collision by a staggering 60%. This is why it’s important we continue to create more 20mph areas.

“By establishing an annual fund to deliver these schemes we are giving more residents the chance to enjoy cleaner air and safer travel, both of which are a priority for the Joint Administration.”

The council’s commitment to improving road safety was further demonstrated last October when it approved a motion to put a 20mph speed limit on any new residential road being planned in Cambridgeshire.

All parties voted at Full Council to support the motion proposed by Cllr Philippa Slatter and seconded by Cllr Mark Howell.