Former Ely councillor set to move abroad in protest at city’s traffic situation

Former Ely councillor Christine Jones

Former Ely councillor Christine Jones - Credit: Archant

Let’s do it the Dutch way, a former city of Ely councillor has pleaded over the increasing amount of traffic rumbling through the city.

Christine Jones is hoping Cambridgeshire County Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council listen to advice and restrict heavy goods vehicles in the city before a fatal accident occurs.

In particular in Lynn Road, to the north of the city, she feels, is being treated as a shortcut by drivers simply following satellite navigation systems, rather than taking the longer A10 bypass.

A supporter of the traffic restrictions and infrastructure on the continent and in Holland especially, Mrs Jones had taken to the community website Shapeyourplace to voice her opinions.

Describing what she says is a regular scene on the school run, the 42-year-old mother of two, said we are often only “inches away from a gigantic piece of industrial equipment”.


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She said: “This is where we live, were we walk with our small children. These gigantic lorries don’t abide by the Highway Code or have any business on our roads.”

She is so fed up with the situation that Mrs Jones has decided to leave the city altogether.

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Originally planning to live with her family in Ely for the rest of her life, the King Edward Close resident has resigned from the city council and is looking to move back to Holland.

There, she says, more attention is paid to maintaining high standards of safe infrastructure and public transport.

She said: “You just don’t see HGVs in urban areas in Holland.”

Last week Mrs Jones reported a lorry driver to the police when he attempted to roll a cigarette concurrent to paying attention to the road near a popular pedestrian crossing point.

In response she was told that she would need more witnesses for action to be taken, and as the only people around her at the time were children she has had to drop the case.

Sergeant Will Davis, of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, responded on the Shapeyourplace website: “We would welcome any reports of careless or dangerous driving. Obviously, the more witnesses the better if the matter ever went to court.”

Mrs Jones highlighted the cut through on Lynn Road as a perfect example for allowing children to safely walk and cycle to school.

As well as more of these throughways in the city, Mrs Jones would like to see three things happen to make Ely’s roads safer.

First of all, a ban for lorries between 7-9am and 3-7pm on weekdays in the city.

Secondly, a city-wide 20 mile per hour speed limit put in place and lastly improved crossings and cycle paths.

However, feeling pessimistic about the likelihood of positive change in an increasingly populated city, Mrs Jones is not going to stick around for the results.

Cambridgeshire County Council has referred the issue to their traffic management team which is currently reviewing the Council’s heavy commercial vehicles strategy to make an “acceptable balance between the needs of hauliers and local residents.”

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