Thanet Road – proposal to extend 20mph zone

City of York Council is proposing to introduce a 20 mph speed limit on a section of Thanet Road, from the Gale Lane roundabout to St James Place. The proposal addresses safety concerns by requiring motorists to observe what are considered to be more appropriate speed limits on roads carrying high traffic volumes particularly during  peak traffic periods.

A map showing the proposed extent of the 20 mph zone is set out below.

No speed checks undertaken in Dringhouses and Woodthorpe

The last Council meeting heard confirmation that no vehicle speed checks had been completed in west York since 20 mph signs started to be put up 12 months ago.

Elsewhere checks in the Bishopthorpe Road area have revealed that average vehicle speeds have not changed since the controversial £600,000 programme was introduced there.

In the West York area several examples of unlawful signs have been reported by residents.

Green Lane speed signs 2In Green Lane the speed limit signs indicate different speed limits on each side of the road.

There have been no prosecutions in York for vehicles exceeding the 20 mph limit.

The new Council is expected to abandon wide area 20 mph limits.

Spending taxpayer’s resources on removing the sign though might be considered to be a case of throwing good money after bad.

However if – as has happened elsewhere – accident rates increase in the 20 mph areas then removal may have to be considered.

20 mph speed limts – something else to challenge?

20 mph sign installed within 5 metres of a sharp right bend.

20 mph sign installed within 5 metres of a sharp right bend.

Despite massive opposition from residents, and most available evidence suggesting that wide area 20 mph speed limits have little positive effect on driver behaviour, the Council are to extend the limit into north York.

Cllr Merrett at the last Council meeting refused to delay the roll out of wide area 20 mph speed limits into East and North York.

This phase of the scheme will cost taxpayers over £300,000.

He had been asked to undertake a review of the effectiveness of the restrictions imposed on west York before wasting any more money.

He did say that he did not agree with Cllr Semlyen’s “zero consultation” approach. Not that Labour pays any attention to the results of consultation anyway.

He also said that, if the wide area 20 mph limits are scrapped after the next local elections, most of the £600,000 cost will go down the drain. “The capital funding has mostly been spent on various unrecoverable items such as labour costs, project management, plant equipment and hire, engineering fees, printing and distribution of materials etc. The poles and 20mph signs used would have some modest resale value.”

Post 20 mph speed limit Bristol residents views click to enlarge

Post 20 mph speed limit Bristol residents views click to enlarge

If the new Council finds that – as has happened elsewhere – accident levels increase then they will have no option but to withdraw the scheme.

The statutory advertisement of the 20mph Speed Limit Orders for north York will take place this month, with notices being posted on affected streets.

These statutory notices will advise which streets are proposed to have new 20mph Speed Limit Orders made for them. This is a formal legal process for any change of speed limit and is required prior to implementation and erection of signs.

As with any other Traffic Regulation Order, there is the opportunity during the statutory 28-day notice period for official representations or objections to be made if there are any specific issues which it is considered should amend or stop the Order from being made.

More detailed information can be found at

The Liberal Democrat view is that the most appropriate speed limit should apply to a road taking into account its characteristics and accident record.

If the party resumes its leadership of the Council following the 2015 local elections, it will give residents the opportunity to give residents the opportunity to decide whether the new ,limits should remain..

Bill for 20 mph signs reaches £238,000

Since Labour took office, they have introduced 20 mph speed limit signs on an additional 11 miles of roads in South Bank and another 44 miles in west York.
Dijon Avenue Green Lane junction small 3

947, 20 mph signs, have so far been installed with a further 1752 still to be put up – mainly in east York

Where the roads revert to a 30 mph limit, new signs have also to be installed.

So far 280 additional 30 mph signs have been installed with a further 587 still to be fitted.

So far the Council has spent over £52,000 on signs, paid out £40,000 in fixing costs with management costs accounting for a whopping £120,000 (planning, project management, professional fees).

Adding in miscellaneous expenditure, the total comes to £238,000.

A further £350,000 has yet to be committed to the programme which will roll out next in east York.

The programme should have been suspended for at least a year to allow the effects, that the new limits so far introduced have had, to be assessed.

In other parts of the country the introduction of 20 mph limits has coincided with an increase in accident levels.

NB Last week a Labour Councillor said that people shouldn’t be consulted on the introduction of 20 mph speed limits.

Anger grows over 20 mph speed limits

Dringhouses Labour Councillor opposes consultation with residents.

A Labour Councillor has claimed in the media that residents should not be consulted over wide area 20 mph speed limits. She says that most residents are in favour of the scheme.

Dijon Avenue Green Lane junction small 3

The claim comes at a time when some residents are reacting angrily to having expensive sign erected on short cul de sacs where it is impossible to reach even 15 mph.

In some areas signs have already been vandalised.

The Councillors comment can only inflame public opinion and fail to acknowledge that in much area where the new limits have been imposed the number of accidents recorded has actually increased.

The new Council, which will be elected in 2015, will have the unenviable job of deciding whether to throw good money after bad and have the signs removed.

Common sense says that the programme should be suspended. This would potentially save around £200,000 – only which could be spent on targeted accident prevention work.

The results of the new limits already rolled out in west York could then be assessed before the policy is thoroughly reviewed.

NB. In a poll of all residents living in the Westfield and Dringhouses wards, only 5% of respondents said that they favoured a “wide area” 20 mph speed limit.