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York 20mph Zones - Decision Day


8:21am 19th July 2013

No new speed humps and no extra police are planned to make people obey York's new 20 mile an hour zones.

Following a consultation inviting 13,000 households in the West of York to have their say on the introduction of a 20mph limit policy, peoples’ comments will be considered at a decision session today (Friday 19 July).

City of York Council announced the 20mph proposals in March. The council say the scheme builds on the policy to introduce 20mph speed limits in residential areas to help promote considerate driving, make walking and cycling more attractive and raise confidence in the safety of local neighbourhoods.

Throughout May and June people were then given the opportunity to feedback their views. Only, 97 formal representations were received during the consultation period with the three main points centring on existing speed averages already at 20mph or below, questioning the estimated costs of the scheme and suggestions for alternative schemes i.e. road repairs  and also claiming that there are already low accident rates in the proposed areas.

The council say that extensive research was carried out prior to the consultation and analysis carried out in other areas which have introduced a 20mph scheme show that there is a significant reduction in the casualties in the short term post implementation.  Lancashire, for instance, has found a 48 per cent decrease in casualties in their 20mph pilot areas.

The most common response received during the consultation related to the costs involved, say the council.

They add that to put the costs in perspective, the citywide 20mph scheme has a budget of £500,000.One serious injury has a value of prevention equal to £189,519 and one slight injury has a value of prevention equal to £14,611*.Therefore, say the council, if the scheme can help prevent three serious casualties, thirty four slight casualties or a permutation of the two equal to £500,000 then cost becomes far more justifiable.

Councillor Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “With significant reductions of up to 3mph (average speeds) in parts of Fishergate ward as a direct result of introducing a lower speed limit, this should prove to be a cost effective approach.

“The introduction of lower speed limits, in accordance with the latest Government guidance, reduces speeds giving drivers more time to react to the presence of other road users, and reducing the likelihood and scale of any potential remaining accidents. We are seeking to increase driver and safety awareness on our roads as part of the roll out. We as a city are committed to making York’s roads safer; I'd like to thank residents for their view and invite everyone to also look at and sign up to our new iPledge scheme to improve road safety.”

Comments will be looked at in a decision session today where it will be recommended that the 20mph speed limit scheme is approved say the Council. If endorsed by the Cabinet Member the planned introduction is set to take place this summer.

The signed-only 20mph speed limits are designed to be largely self-enforcing and aim to support, strengthen and work alongside the many existing traffic calmed 20mph zones that are already in place in many residential streets and around schools in the West of the city, say the council.

As part of a phased citywide rollout Acomb, Holgate, Dringhouses & Woodthorpe and Westfield will become the next Wards to be considered for lower speed limits.

For further information visit www.york20mph.org or follow @york20mph on Twitter. For further details about the council’s iPledge scheme visit www.itravelyork.info/

For more details about the decision session, or to attend, please visit http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=738&MId=8018

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