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City’s 20mph limit ‘works’
TRANSPORT bosses say plans for a blanket 20mph speed limit on York’s streets have been backed up by falling accident rates in a city which has championed a similar scheme.
City of York Council is set to make all residential roads in York 20mph zones by the end of 2014, with South Bank and Clementhorpe being the first areas to see the new speed limits introduced.
The move, pledged by the authority’s Labour group when it won power last year, is designed to cut accidents.
Opponents have suggested the changes could lull pedestrians into a false sense of security and former police accident investigator Mike Natt recently said he was not convinced about the effectiveness of a city-wide 20mph rule.
However, Newcastle City Council, which was the third local authority in the UK to implement a blanket 20mph limit on residential streets last December, has said the number of car-related accidents on the roads covered by it has more than halved in parts of the city.
Five communities have seen accident rates fall by more than 50 per cent, while others have seen incidents decrease by about a quarter.
Coun Dave Merrett , City of York Council’s transport boss said: “It’s reassuring to see consistent drops in the accident rate for 20mph areas in Newcastle over the initial period since introduction. As the council there is saying, it will require analysis over a longer period to establish the full impact of the lower speed limit, but the indication is that reduced driver speed is resulting in fewer accidents, which is great news for public safety.”
The York authority’s Liberal Democrat group has opposed a city-wide 20mph scheme. They claim it would be too expensive and the limits should be targeted in areas with high accident rates.
Coun Ann Reid , said: “We need to carefully study the Newcastle results, which only cover an initial analysis from part of their scheme. Accidents in York consistently fell when 20mph limits were introduced on a case-by-case basis. We think this targeted approach should continue and remain unconvinced a £600,000 blanket roll-out on all residential streets is the best way forward.”