Ilkley Road Safety Action Group (IRSAG) has launched a crowdfunding scheme to pay for initial legal advice on challenging the Ilkley and Ben Rhydding 20mph zone and road hump plans.
In 2022 Bradford Council (BMDC) announced plans for an Ilkley wide 20mph scheme with Ilkley Town Council (ITC) agreeing to part-fund it with £87,500.
A spokesperson for IRSAG said: “Despite the recent Parish Poll, which confirmed overwhelming opposition, a town wide 20mph zone with road humps is now being enforced by Bradford Council. This follows a lengthy period of coordination between BMDC and ITC, which omitted to properly measure, or take any account of, public opinion."
Solicitors have now been approached by the group, in order to obtain initial legal advice, which as IRSAG say “is intended to investigate what steps can be taken to challenge the many questions that continue to emerge concerning the actions of BMDC and ITC councillors and paid representatives.”
Within a few days the crowdfund page received donations totalling almost half its target of £4,000.
IRSAG added: “The legal challenge is very much on behalf of the community, so Ilkley residents' continued support is vital and very much appreciated. If anyone wishes to contribute towards these costs via the crowdfunding page, that would be most welcome.
“Subject to this initial legal advice, additional funds may be required to pursue the matter further. The objective is to force BMDC to reconsider its plans.
“Residents wishing to make donations are advised that the 'GiveSendGo' crowdfund page has a default additional contribution to 'GiveSendGo' themselves, but this can easily be reset to zero; also, additional messaging connected with the site is not related to IRSAG's aims.”
Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said last year: “I understand the strength of feeling some people in Ilkley have over these proposals, particularly around traffic calming.
“We’ve listened, and throughout the development of the scheme the amount of traffic calming has been reduced by 50% - half the amount that was originally put forward.
“I’m confident these final proposals are right for Ilkley and will continue our successful district-wide strategy of rolling out 20mph zones in and around our urban centres, having already delivered similar successful schemes in Shipley and the city centre. The traffic calming now focuses primarily on the fastest roads and those around our schools and nurseries, which a lot of the feedback asked us to do.
“The whole point of public consultation is to identify issues and find a workable compromise that addresses any concerns without losing sight of the core purpose of the scheme. 20 mph zones are important to reduce average speeds, improve road safety and create a better environment for residents, pedestrians and cyclists. Creating a culture where people drive more slowly when they are in our town and city centres and around schools is the right thing to do and I look forward to the successful implementation of this scheme.”
The Ilkley Road Safety Action Group can be contacted via email: email@example.com