More views aired over 20mph plans for Ilkley

Climate Action Ilkley and former MP John Grogan are the latest to make their views public on the proposals for 20mph zones across Ilkley.

Mr Grogan, who was the town's MP between 2015 and 2017 and is seeking re-election to Parliament next year representing Labour, has released a letter sent to David Shepherd, Director of Place at Bradford Council. In it he suggests a 'compromise', whereby the number of speed bumps is reduced further from the current proposals and their implementation is focused around schools.

John Grogan writes: "I support the introduction of a 20mph speed limit throughout the town in line with the aspirations of the Ilkley Development Local Plan. Around 28 million people in the United Kingdom already or soon will live in places which have this speed limit outside their homes and benefit in terms of increased safety and an improved local environment for walkers and cyclists. The campaign to make 20mph the norm in built up areas has attracted widespread cross party support across England. For example in England’s second greatest county in Cornwall the Conservative administration on the county council were elected on a manifesto promise to introduce such a limit.

"In Ilkley it is worth noting that Bradford Council are proposing 133 Speed Cushions (which is a short raised, rounded device which cyclists can avoid) and 10 speed tables (which is a raised section of road with a ramp on both sides). It is also worth noting that traffic calming already exists outside Ben Rhydding School and Ilkley Coronation Hospital. There are no proposals for speed humps such as those at Burley Woodhead.

"I would like to propose that at this stage calming measures be implemented primarily focusing on roads near to schools. I would suggest that in the rest of the proposed 20mph area signage is used in the first instance as the primary method of enforcement. 

"I would also suggest a review is held a year after the implementation of the 20mph scheme to examine whether any further measures are required for enforcement. In that year I would hope that an Active Travel Plan could be produced for Ilkley to encourage walking and cycling in consultation with all the various stakeholders. I think it particularly important to hear the voices of children and young people under 18 who, whilst they do not have votes, have a particular interest in this issue. 

"There has been some debate around the fact that some of the roads which are proposed to be part of the 20mph hour have current average speeds above 25mph and West Yorkshire Police as a consultee favour the use of physical enforcement measures in such circumstances. In this regard I have read carefully the briefings of the national campaign group ‘20’s Plenty for Us’ . They make clear that it is up to highways authorities to decide what measures to take in such circumstances and it is perfectly possible for the primary emphasis to be on signage as in Wales. There is no requirement by Government for highways authorities to take engineering measures if speeds prior to the introduction of a 20mph limit are above 24mph."

Climate Action Ilkley's Transport Group has released a public letter concerning the 20mph proposals for Ilkley. It says:

"We are writing concerning the 20mph proposals for Ilkley. We appreciate the effort that has gone into drawing up the scheme for the town and we fully support a 20mph limit. The potential of 20mph zones in towns to significantly improve road safety, air quality, road noise, carbon emissions, and the experience of pedestrians and cyclists is proven - and the evidence suggests that a majority of Ilkley residents support this position. 

"The adoption of 20mph zones is becoming increasingly common in residential areas across the UK, precisely because these benefits are so clear. Importantly, the evidence from other implementations of other 20mph schemes (see references at the end of this letter) strongly favours town-wide introduction, not targeted on specific zones, such as outside schools, since this just tends to encourage motorists to feel it is ok to speed up again as soon as they leave the zone. Moreover, many of the wider benefits of 20mph zones to improve quality of life across the town will vanish if the scheme is confined merely to a few restrictions around schools.

"The details of implementation are equally important, however, and we are concerned that the level of hard engineering currently proposed will in fact detract from the scheme and cause additional problems for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Evidence from recent schemes seems to show that light (and relatively cheap) measures such as 'gateway treatments' at key entry points to the 20mph zone, together with repeater signs and speed indicator devices can be sufficient, provided the scheme is town-wide.

"In our view, a sensible approach would be to introduce a town-wide scheme supported by these lighter measures, and then to monitor levels of compliance. Other measures should be introduced only if, when and where the less invasive and less expensive measures have been proven not to be sufficient."

Martin Higgitt, Independent Transport Planner and Project Manager of Climate Action Ilkley Active Travel Hub
Helen Steward, Chair of Climate Action Ilkley Transport Group
Climate Action Ilkley Trustees:  Prof. Rob Knipe, Martin Nash, Steve Peel, Dr Mary Pegington, Dr Kath Steward

Maps showing the proposed 20mph zone and road hump locations can be viewed online at https://bradford.moderngov.co.uk/mgConsultationListDisplay.aspx

Residents now have until 12 noon on Friday 28th July 2023 to object to the plans by emailing legalobjections@bradford.gov.uk quoting the following reference(s):
Road humps - CORP/PCD/DS/414370 Speed limit - CORP/PCD/DS/414368

Objections can also be posted to:
Director of Legal and Governance Legal and Democratic Services City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council City Hall Bradford BD1 1HY

A public meeting to discuss the issues around the 20mph speed limit is taking place tonight (25th July) at 7.30pm at the Clarke Foley Centre, organised by a new group called the Ilkley Road Safety Action Group.

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