Villages demand 20mph speed limit near homes

Pressure is mounting on North Yorkshire County Council to help cut motorists’ speeds in built-up areas, as numerous villages demanded the right to take action into their own hands.

Numerous parish councils and a campaign group pressing for a blanket 20mph limit near homes in North Yorkshire voiced their frustration over North Yorkshire County Council roads policies at a meeting of its transport, economy and environment scrutiny committee.

The meeting heard 20s Plenty spokeswoman Anna Semlyen claim introducing the speed limit in all built-up areas would result in 20 per cent fewer casualties.

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Meanwhile, the parish councils called on the county authority to allow them to buy vehicle activated speed signs regardless of speed casualty evidence and said renting them from the authority for limited periods was both prohibitively costly and ineffective.

Gordon Davies, chairman of the parish council in Middleton Tyas said: “Sometimes it’s terrifying how fast people are driving through the built up area. We would love to have vehicle activated signs. What we haven’t got is an effective way of slowing people down.”

Council officers told the meeting researchers had concluded the effectiveness of the signs declined over time.

Councillor Caroline Patmore told the committee while North Yorkshire Police had become more proactive in certain areas, there were places the police would not go and renting the signs from the council had “nearly bankrupted a village” on the A19.

She said: “The number one village in every town and village in North Yorkshire is speeding. The public believe these do help slow down traffic.”

The council’s roads boss, Councillor Don Mackenzie said the authority was awaiting a Department for Transport report on the effectiveness of 20mph limits.

He added claims that “there shouldn’t be a budget on road safety” was a Utopian view.

The committee agreed recommendations to the council to allow parishes to buy permanent signs and to examine the Government report.