The reasonable suggestion by the new York Council that they would review the effectiveness of the wide area, unenforced, 20 mph speed limits, introduced by the last Labour administration, have predictably drawn national attention.
In the main this has been stoked up by lobbying groups from outside the City who seem ignorant of the impact that the new limits have had on traffic speed (and safety) in York.
As was revealed 3 months ago, the latest figures show that since the limits were imposed, vehicles speeds on some roads have actually increased.
Liberal Democrats continue to believe that the most appropriate speed limit should be set for each road bearing in mind its characteristics and accident record. Lower speed limits would be in place outside schools and in shopping areas.
It as this policy which Labour overturned in favour of a “one size fits all” approach.
The issue now is how to avoid adding to the £500,000 which has already been wasted on this project.
Given that the new limits haven’t actually had any significant impact on driver behaviour, there seems to be little urgency in making any change. There is time for local communities to have their say.
However, as a principle, there is a stong argument for the limits to be revised if:
- There is a sustained increase in accident rates on the new 20 mph roads and/or
- Average speeds on new 20 mph roads are higher than they were when they had a 30 mph limit (clearly this already applies to some roads) and/or
- There is evidence that police resources are being diverted into enforcing 20 mph limits (when they should more properly be concentrating on accident black spots).
.Some of the more ridiculous signs on very short cul de sac should be removed.
No money should be spent maintaining the 20 mph signs which would effectively become advisory.