Traffic calming on Cootes Lane
Background and details
In 2015 a survey was carried out to obtain the opinions of Fen Drayton residents on various aspects of village life. One set of questions related to traffic speed in the village. In response to the statement: ‘I am in favour of further speed restrictions on Cootes Lane, e.g. a chicane and speed display’, 75% of 202 respondents agreed or strongly agreed, 15% disagreed and 10% had no opinion. Many of the comments in favour of the project related to children’s safety outside the school.
Given this strongly positive response, the parish council implemented a Speedwatch project on Cootes Lane to collect data on vehicle volumes and speeds. The data showed that 13.5% of vehicles exceeded 35mph in the 30mph limit with speeds up to 46mph being recorded!
During 2020 the new A14 upgrade was completed and as part of the ‘compensation’ to villages affected by years of traffic disruption, Highways England provided a legacy fund for traffic improvements in these villages. Fen Drayton now has a one-off opportunity to have traffic calming measures in Cootes Lane implemented free of charge and without being prioritised against other villages’ requests.
CCC Highways advises that the most effective measures for slowing traffic are vertical speed measures; that is, speed tables, cushions and bumps, but these can create noise and vibration for nearby residents. The second most effective measure is priority narrowing where traffic coming into the village has to give way to oncoming traffic. Motor vehicle activated speed signs (MVAS) have a short-lived effectiveness as drivers become familiar with them but effectiveness can be improved by making them movable.