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Anger and disappointment as 20mph speed limit bid for Waterlees in Wisbech is refused again

Politics has been blamed for the failure of a long-running campaign to get a 20mph speed limit introduced to a residential area in Wisbech.

Hopes of introducing a 20mph limit in the Waterlees area have been dashed for a fourth time despite pledges by local residents, businesses and councillors to help fund the necessary 10 per cent of the scheme’s costs.

Independent councillors for the ward, Mike and Virginia Bucknor, believe the campaign has failed for no other reason than politics.

Coun Mrs Bucknor said: “Only one of our three Wisbech county councillors, the decision makers, bothered attending when the presentation was made by a teacher from the Orchards School and Chris Stevens from the Oasis Centre last autumn – that was Coun Sam Hoy, and she raised no questions and didn’t speak.

“Coun Steve Tierney, the area’s actual county councillor, didn’t attend and Coun Simon King arrived after the presentation had been made.

“So yet again, for the fourth time, it was refused last week by the Conservative-led county council’s highways and community infrastructure committee. Each scheme is scored on various aspects and while the Waterlees proposal was rejected, a scheme with exactly the same score was given the go-ahead – so even their own scoring seems skewed.

“This is just so disappointing for the people of Waterlees – they and particularly our children deserve better.

“Every residents’ forum sees the issue of speeding brought up by people as their biggest concern. Yet when a perfectly acceptable proposal is submitted, it is rejected and we want to know why.”

Coun Bucknor said hundreds of residents of Waterlees have been asking for speed reductions in the area for eight years. It’s densely populated, with 1,500 children and hundreds of vulnerable and elderly living in this small part of Wisbech.

The Bucknors feel so strongly about the issue they even resigned as town councillors last year when Wisbech Town Council refused to put it forward as a minor local highways improvement scheme.

It was then that they, together with the Orchards School, the Oasis Centre and various business people including Jay Hubbard, of English Brothers, pieced together an independent minor highways improvement proposal backed by a 50-page dossier in support of the speed reduction, which was presented last autumn.

“We just don’t know what we need to do to get this vital speed reduction introduced. Even the local police inspector has said ‘it’s a no-brainer, it saves lives’.

“We are just so sorry for the local people who will have to continue to suffer speeding traffic around their homes,” added Coun Bucknor.

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