Ilkley Civic Society has made a number of summarised comments regarding the consultation for the planned 20mph zones across Ilkley and Ben Rhydding currently being conduced by Bradford Council.
Members of the society attended the face to face consultation run by Bradford Council on 13th December with CBMC highways officers, Ilkley Town Council councillors, Keighley & Ilkley Ward Officers in attendance at the Clarke Foley Centre in Ilkley.
On display at the Consultation were a number of maps depicting possible locations of traffic calming ‘tables’ and ‘cushions’, speed survey results and a map showing accidents in the town.
No text document was available explaining the project background or its aims and objectives or its critical success factors. There was no explanation of how the roads were selected. No information was provided on lessons learnt in other similar sized towns?
Even less information is available on line as no speed survey or accident location plans are available and no basis for the proposal. The ‘purpose of the consultation’ consists of one sentence?
There was no reference to the Local Plan, Neighbourhood Plan, Conservation Area designations ,Design Statement, Wharfedale Greenway Plan or the existing Yorkshire Dales Cycleway, with which this project should dovetail.
Any proposal will need some enforcement to be successful. We have been given no indication of the involvement of West Yorkshire Police, Fire or Ambulance services.
We understand that HM Government is ‘looking for Local authorities to reduce the use of traffic calming ‘due to the effect it can have on increased air pollution. Elsewhere the issue of noise pollution and vibration to adjacent property can also be an issue as well as worsening road surface drainage.
Accident Data used is we believe out of date and does not demonstrate the need for traffic calming in some residential areas
Bus routes are not shown. The impact on all bus services needs to be analysed in terms of longer journey times and re routing. Bus use should be encouraged but how will this proposal do this?
There appears to be no information on funding which is understood to be a finite sum and is insufficient to complete everything that is proposed. The benefits of the proposal have not been assessed but appear to us to be poor in terms of safety and value for money. It is clearly preferable to work to a clear high quality prioritised plan over a period of phases rather than a complete scheme of low quality highway works that Ilkley has suffered from in the past.
The maps did not depict existing street furniture (crossings, traffic islands, signs, lights and street trees) or how the traffic calming would fit with private access drives or those with high levels of public and resident’s car parking. Some businesses need HGV access and this should be accommodated.
There were no photos of the proposed ’tables’ and ‘cushions’. ICS would be concerned if proliferation of the already over signed town was to further damage the ‘Sense of Place’ in the historic areas of the town. ‘.
Whilst accepting that the traffic calming proposed should reduce speed we are concerned that disadvantages also exist. Elsewhere in the UK we believe 20 mph limits have been introduced but managed by speed cameras and not cushions and tables? Speed can also be controlled by pinch points and priority arrows; these issues do not appear to have been considered.
Site Specific issues
Ilkley Civic Society also raised a number of site specific issues, in the full text submitted, including-
The impact on the A65 traffic lights at Brook Street / Leeds Road and the flow of traffic on the A65
The schools where there are particular problems were not highlighted.
The optional Area around Ash Grove surely merits a different treatment as a ‘Home Zone’? as may the Lister St area.
Ilkley Civic Society concludes that it cannot support this proposal as it stands without information on the reasons behind the decision-making process used. We suggest that if the aim is to reduce accidents to pedestrians a far more effective proposal would be to conduct the Urban Realm Study of the town centre as committed to by CBMDC following the parking review of the town. This would look at making routes in the town centre safer and easier for all pedestrians and cyclists as per the recent ‘hierarchy’ introduced in the revised Highway Code and without increasing pollution. This study would also take into account issues of design within the conservation areas which a purely highway scheme will not. It would, we suggest cover a much reduced area of the town plus schools, hospital/ heath centre and other higher risk areas only and have a different emphasis.
The consultation is running until 17th January 2023 (extended from the 10th). The plans can be viewed at https://bradford.moderngov.co.uk/mgConsultationDisplay.aspx?ID=513 with comments emailed to Ilkleyfirstname.lastname@example.org.
More on the consultation is available here which includes comments from local councillors and Ilkley's MP.