Liberal Democrat councillors have opposed plans for a blanket 20mph roll-out in the north and east of York.
At a meeting tonight Labour’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Dave Merrett, approved spending £235,000 on the next stage of the controversial 20mph project despite public and political opposition. Labour’s plans will eventually see 20mph blanket limits across York.
York’s Liberal Democrat Group say the money should be targeted on accident blackspots and say residents want existing speed limits enforced. A council survey on Labour’s proposals for west York last year was sent to 13,000 homes with only 7 residents supporting the scheme. Labour Councillor Anna Semlyen said recently there was “little point” in consulting residents on proposals for blanket 20mph limits.
Speaking at the meeting Cllr Carol Runciman, whose Huntington and New Earswick ward will be part of the roll-out, spoke in opposition to Labour’s plans. She said:
“The Liberal Democrat Group continue to believe that this money would be better spent if it was targeted on accident blackspots and high risk areas. The blanket approach can ignore real safety issues and it is rather like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
“The experience from elsewhere in York is that many roads included in the blanket areas have low accident rates and often the average speeds are barely above 20mph anyway. I could give many examples of cul-de-sacs included in this scheme where you would be hard pressed to even get to 20mph.
“These plans will draw funding away from the areas where there is a real need to act, such as tackling speeding on New Lane. We also think it is premature to allocate another £235,000 before the results from the earlier schemes in York have been properly analysed.
“Residents should be central to this process, but as is all too often the case it appears that this 20mph project is being imposed upon them rather than requested by them. Residents want existing speed limits enforced rather than new ones added that we know won’t be enforced – the police have said that.
“The dangers of not properly consulting residents on transport changes and not building a consensus were shown this week with the Lendal Bridge debacle. There is a lesson to be learnt there.”
Full details of the meeting can be found here: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=738&MId=8437