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20mph North Yorkshire plan 'unrealistic'

20mph North Yorkshire plan 'unrealistic'

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Stuart Minting at 5:15pm 14th February 2020.

An inquiry has concluded introducing a blanket 20mph speed limit across all settlements in North Yorkshire would be “unrealistic” in terms of cost and enforcement.

  • An inquiry looked at whether a blanket 20mph speed limit should be introduced in built-up areas of North Yorkshire. 
  • The council study found speed limits should reflect the nature of the road.  
  • But it did say the council’s policy should be made more explicit in considering 20mph speed limits near schools.

While a growing number of authorities launch 20mph zones across a majority of built-up areas, such as in neighbouring Leeds, the North Yorkshire County Council study found speed limits should reflect the nature of the road and be “self-explaining”.

The inquiry’s conclusions, which will be reported at a full meeting of the authority next week ahead of them being considered by its Transport, Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, state the council’s existing policy on 20mph speed limits enabled communities to introduce 20mph speed limits in their areas.

traffic congestion

The document states:

“The policy though would benefit from some updating and to be promoted. Some communities might not be aware of the policy, but could benefit from the introduction of 20mph speed limits.”

It recommends the council’s policy be made more explicit in considering 20mph speed limits nears schools, supporting behavioural change among drivers and alternative modes of transport as well as shaping the built environment.

The study states:

“This is so that the wider policy focus is not exclusively constrained by historical accident statistics in determining 20mph speed limits, if an otherwise strong case can be made for a 20mph speed limit to be introduced in a specific area.”

North Yorkshire County Council

The inquiry was launched in 2018 by the Conservative-run authority’s then Transport Scrutiny Committee chairman, Councillor Mike Jordan, just weeks before he defected to the Yorkshire Party.

Cllr Jordan said the inquiry appeared to have missed the point he had been trying to pursue and that he agreed the cost of a county-wide 20mph limit in all settlements would be prohibitive.

He said:

“Once you get off the main road it should be 20mph. This should only be introduced where parish councils want it. This was about giving parish councils options.”