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20mph plans for the whole of Ilkley

Plans for 20 mph speed limits in Ilkley have been prepared by Bradford Metropolitan District Council (BMDC) Highways Officers and will shortly be presented for public consultation.

The plans, which have been under consideration for many years, cover the whole of Ilkley and Ben Rhydding south of the river, with the boundary recently extended to include Denton Road in Ilkley North.

Plans seen by Ilkley Chat show that speed cushions (speed humps) could be used to “enforce” the 20 mph with roads including Railway Road, Valley Drive, Clifton Road, Wheatly Lane, Cowpasture Road and Ben Rhydding Road to the east. To the west, King’s Road, Grove Road, Heber’s Ghyll Drive, Victoria Avenue and Easby Drive will all have speed humps installed. Bolling Road will have traffic tables, longer speed bumps.

An Ilkley Town Council spokesperson said it has been active in engaging the public: “Beginning with a town meeting held in March 2020 to consider traffic issues in the town, and through regular articles in the Town Council Newsletter, delivered to all households.

“There have been well-publicised Full Council and Transport Sub-Committee meetings on the subject, fully open to the public. Support for the plans was approved by a vote of the full Town Council in March 2022 and a further full council vote approved the funding agreement following legal advice.”

The Ilkley Neighbourhood Development Plan (INDP) is explicit in its support for “the wider introduction of 20 mph zones and traffic calming measures to facilitate safer walking and cycling around the town” (p63). The INDP involved a formal public consultation process over several years, overseen by the current and previous town councils. It was approved by a large majority of Ilkley voters at a referendum in May 2022.

Detailed street-level plans have been drawn up by BMDC, discussed between BMDC officers and the Town Council and amended following consideration by Ilkley’s BMDC Ward Councillors. These will now be subject to public consultation and comment, and the Town Council encourages all residents to have their say on the detail.

Scheme funding will be provided by BMDC with matched funds (to a legally agreed maximum of £87,500) from the Town Council. Such arrangements are not always popular, but they are not unusual. The previous Town Council set up a matched funding scheme to contribute to the salaries of BMDC staff in Ilkley’s Visitor Information Centre. In the case of the 20mph plans, the Town Council has been accumulating funds over a two-year period. It is also entitled to access funds from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), collected from developers and specifically intended to meet infrastructure needs that have arisen from new development, such as road safety.

Ilkley Mayor Councillor Mark Stidworthy says: “Ilkley Town Council acknowledges support for, and concerns about, the plans and encourages all residents to have their say at the consultation. However we remain confident that the introduction of lower speeds will improve safety for active travel, protect the environment and increase the amenity of our wonderful town.”

Bradford Council have yet to say when the consultation will start and how long it will run for.


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