More York streets to get 20mph limits

5:48pm Monday 2nd June 2014

By Victoria Prest

STREETS in the east of York will join the city-wide 20 mph speed limit as the programme is rolled out in coming weeks.

City of York Council has announced that residents in the east of the city will be the next to get leaflets telling them about the upcoming change in their areas.

The policy started in the west of the city before being rolled out in the north this April. The council's ruling Labour group says widespread 20 mph limits will make the streets safer and more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.

It was included in the 2011 Labour manifesto for York but has faced criticism since its inception and last year it was revealed that only seven residents out of 13,000 surveyed in a public consultation had voiced support for the policy.

Cllr David Levene, cabinet member for transport, said: "Introducing these speed limits aims to create an environment where traffic is travelling under 20mph, alongside and complementing our existing programme of targeted accident reduction measures.

"This will help improve the local environment of neighbourhoods for residents: replacing the mish-mash we have at the moment with a consistent, clearly understandable approach to promote more considerate driving."

And although North Yorkshire Police have spoken in favour of lower speed limits in residents streets, the scheme has been branded costly and ineffective by Labour's political opponents.

Both Conservative leader Chris Steward and Liberal Democrat leader Keith Aspden say they support 20 mphs limits in some areas but condemned the blanket approach being taken in York.

Cllr Steward said: "Although we continue to support 20mph schemes where residents back them, this continues not to be the case in York where the blanket approach does not enjoy popular support and is merely a vast unnecessary cost when the money could be better spent elsewhere.

"Unfortunately one of the real problems of the blanket zones is they also lessen the impact where the restrictions are most needed – including at schools"

Cllr Aspden added: "The council’s proposals would see 20mph limits on the vast majority of local roads, even narrow cul-de-sacs where cars would struggle to reach 20mph.

“I am not convinced it is an effective use of resources and residents will be concerned about signs being put everywhere, including in Fulford’s conservation area.”

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