A limit not a target

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With reference to Mitch Mitchell of March’s letter concerning the use of indicators and speed limits.

Perhaps he should re-read the second part of his letter again, where he is complaining about drivers travelling at 10mph below the speed limit.

A speed limit is exactly what it says – a limit, NOT a target. It is the maximum safe speed at which the authorities believe a road can be safely travelled, not the speed every driver should aim to travel at all times.

More drivers considering the speed limit might mean less drivers having accidents or wasting traffic police time catching those who do not even consider the limit high enough for their use!

Bob Mitchell,

West Walton.


Please use indicators

To Pam Thompson, I wonder where you drive – or even if you drive. It is not perfectly acceptable to drive at 20mph in a 30mph zone.

I agree it’s not a mandatory speed limit – however when I took my first driving test in 1974 I failed because I was not driving at a speed conducive to other road users – i.e. I was driving too slowly for the road I was driving along.

The Department of Transport states: ‘Effective speed management involves many components designed to work together to encourage, help and require road users to adopt an appropriate and safe speed, which precludes an un-necessarily low speed.’

I note that you did not comment on the non-use of traffic indicators, which can be a great hazard and inconvenience to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Note to ALL drivers – use your indicators.

Leslie Judd,

Wisbech.

breakfast treat

So generous

On the road to Wimblington from Manea lies the Skylark Garden Centre.

In the first week of Lent many elderly folk from Manea were treated to a free, wonderful, ‘Fenland’ breakfast by the generous kindness of Skylark and ‘Tommy’, of Manea.

As one of the ‘younger’ members – I’m only 82 – we enjoyed the most incredible treat of the best breakfast I ever remember, served to us by the lovely, caring, young staff and surrounded by lots of children (it was half-term).

As we age, one big problem can be isolation and loneliness, as well as infirmity – to be so cared for by such wonderful kindness really lifts our old hearts and souls.

The tremendous thoughtfulness of Edward and Tommy, the ‘bosses’, who so kindly offered such generosity, is truly wonderful. I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ for all these two have done for us – especially for an unforgettable breakfast.

William Evans,

Manea.


NORFOLK STREET

Traffic ban would work

I would like to respond to the letter by Steve Carpenter (Citizen, February 25).

While I do not live in town, I do shop in Norfolk Street and know people with businesses on the street. Pedestrianisation would make a very narrow street much safer for shoppers.

I have twice been whacked by a wing mirror while walking on the very narrow pavements and had to avoid cars mounting the kerb. Indeed, I myself have had to mount the kerb in my car while reversing into a space.

Given there are large car parks at both ends of the street, plus West Street and Orange Grove, running parallel, I see no reason why it should remain open to traffic – particularly since it is impossible, for emergency vehicles to traverse the street unhindered and unimpeded should there be a life and death situation.

Even I, (disabled, in pain, unsteady on my pins) can manage to totter from a car park, to the shops of choice. It would be made much more pleasant and less painful, too, if the street was pedestrianised with seating, tables and chairs for a leisurely coffee and bite to eat.

Perhaps the many takeaways might be encouraged to move and artisan shops opened in their place. With planters of flowers scattered about the aroma and ambience would be much improved (the scent of hot greasy burgers will never be made into an air freshener!)

People would be very idle if their idea of shopping meant stopping the car, opening the door and taking two steps into the shop of choice.

I am convinced that pedestrianisation of this little narrow historic street (made to accommodate pack horses and the occasional narrow cart) would only benefit it, and it cannot be compared to the pedestrianisation of the Market Place (which I opposed) with its wide open streets and plenty of room for pedestrians and traffic alike.

When I think of Norfolk Street I am reminded of ‘The Shambles’ in York which is just as narrow but has been pedestrianised. Pedestrianising it could bring a much higher footfall to a street which I know people avoid because of the danger of traffic being so close to people.

Frankly, I am amazed that there have not been more injuries on the street and, speaking to other people with disabilities and mothers with prams, I have been informed that “we don’t go down there because I can’t get the pram/wheelchair down it”.

Mothers with a buggy plus a toddler by the hand, would not have enough space for all to walk on the pavement.

Pam Thompson,

Tydd St Giles.

NORTH EAST CAMBS

Flood fears for homes

Referring to MP Steve Barclay’s article outlining improvements to North East Cambridgeshire I, with no alliance to any political party, am pleased he mentions the Wisbech-March rail line and the King’s Dyke crossing. Also flood defences receiving a boost.

As regards flooding, particularly at March, there comes to mind the complacent attitude of planning committees and speculative parties that choose to build in areas which have been prone to flooding for centuries. This was addressed by dykes and drains discharging into rivers. The dykes were filled in to accommodate buildings and inefficient piping laid down.

It is well-known the government and local government desire to build more houses in towns and villages. This, I think, is inspired by uncontrolled numbers of immigrants entering the country.

Before building large numbers of houses, existing infrastructure should be considered, as well as the history of potential sites – for instance, as to the land being wet and tending to flood.

This is often ignored and is entirely the case at March, which is increasingly burdened by increasing traffic – another problem.

Trevor Bevis,

March.

HSBC SCANDAL

Two laws?

The tax evasion scandal involving HSBC highlights there is one law for the rich and one law for hard-working people.

Failure to buy a TV licence would result in prosecution. Tax evasion, turn a blind eye?

Tax campaigner Richard Murphey said: “To the wealthiest criminals and their assistants within the financial system go the rewards and plaudits. To everyone else, intimidation and persecution.”

Is it any wonder large numbers of the electorate are turning away from the ballot box. The HSBC scandal reinforces their belief : “They are all the same.” What an indictment of politics in this country. Time for change.

John Cook,

Parson Drove.

BUTCHERS CLOSURE

Sad story

I was saddened to read that the family run butchers GW Franks has closed after 107 years of trading following the retirement of the owners.

It is very hard for independent shops faced with competition from the big supermarket. I support the TUC’ call for a £10 an hour minimum wage. Many independent shops would like to pay it, but can’t afford to.

The real problem are the food processing factories and supermarkets, who can afford to pay £10 an hour, but don’t.

A workers’ government would pay small business owners tax credits so they can pay their workers £10 an hour.

John Smithee,

Member, Unite the Union,

Wisbech.