Motorists in Calderdale could soon be facing tougher speed restrictions, if Calderdale Council’s Cabinet approve plans for the introduction of 20mph limits across the borough.
In July, Calderdale Council hosted an event with the Community Safety Partnership and local people, to raise awareness and discuss the different ways in which communities can work together to keep our roads safe – for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Feedback from this event, and from local Ward Forums, showed that there is a strong indication that more should be done to reduce the speed of vehicles across Calderdale.
On Monday 7 October, Cabinet will discuss the merits of three different options, which will then be the subject of consultation with stakeholders and local communities.
The preferred option for Cabinet is to make 20mph the default speed limit in built-up areas throughout the borough, with signage directing where other speeds are applied.
This broad approach has already been agreed in London and Birmingham, and many other towns and cities nationwide are also backing area-based 20mph restrictions. In addition, Secretary of State for Transport Norman Baker supports more 20mph zones, as does Shadow Transport Minister Maria Eagle.
Such an option would provide a consistent message across the district, and could be addressed quickly and cost-effectively, with the potential for all residential areas to be covered within a three to four year period.
However, the proposed consultation would also cover two alternative options – to continue with the current programme of two local 20mph schemes a year, or to simply introduce 20mph limits outside all schools.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins, said:
“There is a clear demand for immediate action to reduce traffic speeds across Calderdale. The issue is frequently raised at Ward Forums, and it’s important that we do everything we can to address the community’s concerns.
“In our view, the priority should be to create a consistent message throughout Calderdale. In doing so, we could save both time and money, compared with the current staggered approach.”
Note: At the request of the Secretary of State, the Association of Chief Police Officers is now reviewing its guidelines for enforcement of speed restrictions.