Council backs 20mph zones

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Calderdale Council’s Cabinet has backed proposals to roll out 20mph speed limits across residential areas in the district over the next three years.

The move will see all current 30mph zones in Calderdale become 20mph in a move which councillors say will reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the borough’s roads.

The measures were proposed after it was revealed that children are almost twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads in Calderdale compared to the national average.

Councillor Simon Young (Luddendenfoot, Lab) said: “There’s rarely a time when I knock on a resident’s door where road speed doesn’t come up as an issue.

“The majority of citizens support the introduction of the 20mph scheme.”

In a consultation with 1,200 residents, the results found that over 80 per cent of people support measures to curb speed limits. But less that 50 per cent support the preferred proposal of a district-wide 20mph speed limit.

Barry Collins. deputy council leader, said: “Calderdale will be the first council in West Yorkshire to introduce a council-wide 20mph speed limit in residential areas.”

Conservative members of the council have called for further consultation before the plans are rolled out.

Coun Scott Benton (Brighouse, Con) said: “Less than one per cent of residents took part in the consultation, and we simply do not believe the council has the legitimacy to introduce this policy given the apparent lack of support from the public.

“Road safety is one of the most important issues in all of our communities and we do support looking at the case to introduce 20mph speed limits in some areas.

“We held our own consultation in the autumn when we delivered over 16,000 surveys to households across the borough.

“Our results suggested that while only half of people supported a 20mph speed limit in all areas, over 95 per cent of residents supported 20mph limits outside all schools.

“In order to be successful, any change requires the support and co-operation of the vast majority of motorists and the council’s preference of a blanket 20mph zone across all areas simply does not command that level of support. “We urge the council to take on board the results of our own consultation on this issue and to ensure that any change commands support from the general public.”