Lower speed limits on York streets could be scrapped under a plan being considered by council leaders.
The 20mph scheme rolled out by the last Labour administration is under review, in a move that has outraged campaigners.
Oh, well, outrage is the default state for most campaigners, isn’t it?
… this afternoon Rod King, founder and campaign director for the 20’s Plenty group, condemned the move.
He said: “This proposal is ill-considered and expected to be challenged on several democratic and legal counts.
“It could become a subject for a judicial review. Given the heavy responsibility that would go with any increase in speed limit and endorsement of higher speeds, we do not see it as practical, desirable, legal or deliverable.
“It is a sad reflection on the current York administration that they consider this at all.”
Blah, blah, blah…
Cllr Ann Reid, Lib Dem spokesman for transport, has long called for the blanket policy to be scrapped.
She later added: “There are areas where 20mph limits are clearly needed, such as outside schools and local shops.
“However, Labour’s blanket 20mph policy was unpopular with local residents with many strongly objecting to the limits and associated street clutter especially in areas where there were no speeding problems in the first place.”
Cllr Ian Gillies, the executive member for transport, said the policy had been a “waste of time”, adding that it was right his administration had pledged not to erect any more 20 mph signs “unless they are really needed.”
He said: “Some of the signs are in ridiculous places – on small streets where you couldn’t get up to that speed anyway. It was political dogma that put them there.”
Indeed it was. Change of administration, change of policies. If the voters wanted blanket 20mph zones, they were free to vote Labour back in. They didn’t. Suck it up.
Of course, it might be that even they realised the Labour candidates were..well, batshit crazy…
Anna Semlyen, a former Labour councillor and a campaign manager for the national 20’s Plenty group, said the new parties in power were trying to distance themselves from the previous administration, with no thought for the evidence behind the policy.
She said: “I think it’s a ludicrous suggestion, it goes against all the evidence from public health to remove public health limits.”
Health bodies such as NICE, the World Health Organisation, and Public Health England all support lower speed limits, she added, while other cities such as Edinburgh are moving for more, not fewer, 20 mph zones.
She added: “The biggest problem in health is people not doing enough physical exercise. How on earth are you going to get people doing more physical activities if you take away lower road speeds?”
If you fail to see the connection between physical activity and car speed restrictions, well, good for you. You’ve proved you’re smarter than an ex- Labour councillor.
There are, however, plenty of people who aren’t smarter:
A father has launched a petition calling for action to prevent a tragic accident in a York road – and spoken out against moves to get rid of blanket 20mph speed limits.
Paul Williams claimed speeding motorists were putting children’s lives at risk in his street, Cranbrook Road, off Boroughbridge Road.
He said drivers were hurtling along at 50mph in breach of a 20mph limit, particularly ‘boy racers’ on an evening, and it was only a matter of time before a youngster was killed or injured if traffic calming measures were not installed by City of York Council.
He said he wanted speed humps or barriers installing, and he had collected 120 signatures in support of his petition.
So…you have a 20mph limit but it doesn’t work? Yet you don’t think removing the thing that doesn’t work is a good idea?
Mr Williams said he would oppose any removal of the 20mph limit from his street, claiming that if it was raised to 30mph, speeders would drive at 60mph instead of 50mph.