FRESH calls have been made for York’s controversial city-wide 20mph plans to be scrapped - after only seven out of 13,000 residents who were asked supported the scheme.

A City of York Council survey of people in west York drew just 97 responses - 87 of which opposed proposals for reduced speed limits on their streets. Three gave neutral responses.

But the council intends to press ahead this summer with the plans for Acomb, Holgate, Dringhouses, Woodthorpe and Westfield, and says the low number of total responses shows there is “no significant opinion against the idea of 20mph”.

Labour plans to ultimately roll out the 20mph zones across the city, having included the plan in its 2011 election manifesto. The scheme has a £500,000 budget, but opponents say the consultation results mean it should be axed in favour of a more targeted approach.

The council said the west York proposals were backed by local headteachers, major employer Benenden Health and North Yorkshire Police. But Conservative leader Ian Gillies said the council’s persistence showed the consultation meant “absolutely nothing”.

Some objectors through the consultation branded a blanket 20mph policy “ridiculous”, “a waste of public money” and “unenforceable”. Others said accident rates were already low and drivers would ignore the new restrictions.

Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for transport, has been advised by officials to “overrule” the objections next week and to agree the west York plan, but with two streets removed from the original proposal.

Officials said the Department for Transport valued preventing a serious injury at £189,519 based on medical costs and other factors, meaning the prevention of three would make the scheme worth the cost.

They said 20mph zones had reduced speeds by up to 3mph on some Fishergate streets, and said that while the limits would be largely “self-enforcing”, police would enforce them in the same way as 30mph zones.

Coun Merrett said: “The introduction of lower speed limits reduces speeds, giving drivers more time to react to the presence of other road-users and reducing the likelihood of of any potential remaining accidents. We are seeking to increase driver and safety awareness on our roads as part of the roll-out. As a city, we are committed to making York’s roads safer, and this should prove to be a cost-effective approach.”

Coun Gillies said: “It just proves the point that consultation by this council’s cabinet means absolutely nothing. The 20mph policy is an expensive political exercise which is not wanted by the vast majority of residents and this is more proof that it should be abandoned and the money being spent on it put to better use.”

Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat councillor for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe and the party’s transport spokeswoman, said: “The consultation results show there is very little support for Labour’s policy.

“Residents tell us they wanted a targeted use of 20mph limits and other safety initiatives on known accident blackspots, rather than a blanket approach.”

She said Labour’s decision was a political one which was not based on residents’ wishes and called for a rethink.