Issued by City of York Council
With support from head teachers in the West of York School’s Partnership and one of the UK’s leading health & well being mutuals, benenden health, City of York Council will be contacting residents’ in the near future on the implementation of its 20mph limit policy in the West of York.
Building on a 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, Acomb, Holgate, Dringhouses & Woodthorpe and Westfield will become the next Wards to have lower speed limits introduced as part of a phased citywide rollout.
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.
The introduction of the proposed 20mph limits, which are planned to be in place in spring/summer 2013, will ensure that the majority of residential roads and neighbourhoods will have a lower speed limit to help reduce average speeds.
Introducing signed only 20mph speed limits costs taxpayers considerably less – up to £1,400 per kilometre -compared to the cost of introducing 20mph zones (including traffic calming measures such as speed humps) which would cost up to £65,000 per kilometre.
Local trials run in Fishergate between December 2009 and February 2011 demonstrated that the average speed of traffic was effectively reduced (by 3 miles per hour) and that residents reported that they felt it was now a safer and healthier environment for walking and cycling. The pilot South Bank area scheme, which started in September 2012, has strong support from local residents and businesses and is still ongoing.
Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “With significant reductions of up to 3mph (average speeds) in Fishergate as a direct result of introducing a lower speed limit, this is proving to be a cost effective and successful scheme.
“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 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.”
Inspector Michael Barron of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “Speeding is one of the major concerns highlighted by members of the public. Not only is inappropriate and excessive speed a cause of deaths and serious injuries, but it can affect people’s quality of life.
“By reducing the speed limits through residential areas, noise pollution will be reduced and the environment will feel safer for all road users and pedestrians alike, and in the unfortunate event of a collision, the severity of injuries can be reduced.
“Drivers should also remember that the speed limit is not a target, and should also drive according to the road conditions and potential hazards at the time.”
West of York School’s Partnership, which includes all Headteachers in the West of York, said: “We are encouraged by the positive results that have been achieved in the trial areas across the city and as school leaders we are delighted to be able to work in partnership to support strategies which ensure the safety and well-being of our pupils and our communities.
Ken Hesketh, Chief Executive at Benenden Health – based on Holgate Park Drive – said: “As a major health & well being organisation with strong links to the community, we are fully supportive of local schemes that will encourage a healthier environment for walking and cycling.
“Our employees commute to our offices in Holgate Park from all over York’s region. Freeing up traffic flows and enabling improved safety from alternative forms of transport can only serve to improve York’s infrastructure, make communities safer and support local businesses.”
The rollout of 20mph speed limits will be implemented clockwise around the city starting with the West then moving to the North before finishing in the South-East over the next two years and will be funded via the council’s transport capital budget.
During the consultation period, council officers will also be on hand to answer questions and talk through plans at the public exhibition unit based Acomb. Information will also be provided at Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre nearer the time. In addition to this, plans will be placed at Bishopthorpe, Dringhouses and Copmanthorpe libraries for information.
Residents living in and around the proposed 20mph areas will receive FAQ’s, legal notices and details on implementation timescales through their letterboxes from April/May.
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