Bradford Council is encouraging Ilkley and Ben Rhydding residents and business owners to get involved a consultation and have a say on proposals for new 20mph zones in the area.
The proposals are the latest in the Council's programme of 20mph zones across the district. Similar schemes have been implemented in Bradford city centre, Shipley town centre and around dozens of schools across the district.
The plans will be placed on the Council’s website - www.bradford.gov.uk/consultations from the 12 December until the 10 January and a special email address has been set up for the consultation: Ilkleyfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Jack Lofthouse Annex room in the Clarke Foley Centre has been booked for Tuesday 13 December from 9:30am to 8pm to hold the public consultation.
The current plans, which have been drawn up by Bradford Council and are backed by Ilkley Town Council, would see the whole of Ilkley and Ben Rhydding south of the A65 covered by a 20mph zone. They also propose over 100 speed cushions and speed tables across the town, including on roads such as Ben Rhydding Road, Clifton Road, Grove Road, and Hebers Ghyll Drive.
Work on the new 20mph zone should be complete by spring 2023.
Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Safety is our number one priority and the new 20mph zone should demonstrate our commitment to encouraging safer driving across the district.
“Ilkley will be an example to other towns in the district where there are similar expressions of interest, we want more mobility for all road users including pedestrians and cyclists in a safe and caring environment.”
Ilkley’s district councillors and MP Robbie Moore have spoken out against a plan to impose blanket 20mph limits and traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps, instead backing a targeted approach, focused on schools and areas with genuine road safety concerns, and urge residents to have their say in the consultation.
Cllr Andrew Loy (Conservative) said: “I promised to campaign for targeted 20mph zones and other road safety improvements around schools and problem areas before I was elected in May, and that is exactly what I want to see. I do not believe there is the need or support for a blanket approach.
“I also do not agree with the Greens and Lib Dems on the Town Council handing over £87,500 to Bradford for the scheme. Highways are Bradford Council’s responsibility, and Ilkley residents already pay enough in council tax and parking charges, without paying via the Town Council precept too.”
Cllr Kyle Green (Conservative) said: “I have worked very hard to support active and safer travel across Ilkley and Ben Rhydding. I led the campaign for a new zebra crossing for IGS students on Cowpasture Road, worked with local residents to deliver the hugely successful Ashlands path, and have also secured funding to change the dangerous zebra crossing on the A65 to traffic lights after working with local residents.
“I do not believe that spending over £200,000 on this scheme is the best way to improve safety or improve active travel. This scheme needs to go back to the drawing board and revise its plans so schools and problem areas have measures put in place. Savings from this can then be used to fund real improvements to help active travel or fund speed prevention methods such as speed cameras.”
Cllr Anne Hawkesworth (Independent) said: “There is shortly going to be a consultation exercise on 20mph. But more importantly on the position and numbers of humps and bumps within the scheme. It is essential that residents play their part in this consultation as we must avoid the debacle of the parking scheme. I don’t suppose many residents will be opposed to a 20 mph zone around the town. It is essential in areas close to schools and such roads as Cowpasture Road and the main tributary routes of the Ilkley and Ben Rhydding. However the number of highway restrictions of humps and bumps are in my mind not desirable. I would far prefer more VAZ signs and even the odd speed camera."
Robbie Moore MP said: “Whilst I absolutely support increasing road safety measures outside schools and specific areas of concern in Ilkley and Ben Rhydding, imposing a blanket 20mph zone on residents is clearly not the answer, and this Bradford Council plan is an unwise use of my constituents’ hard-earned money.”
“It is clear that what we need is a targeted approach, and I will be working with our brilliant District Councillors Andrew Loy and Kyle Green to oppose these plans and make sure that residents get improved road safety measures in places where these road safety concerns are actually justified.”
Other road safety improvements backed by the district councillors include lowering the speed limit on Hangingstone Road and Moor Road from 50mph to 30mph, which is expected to be introduced soon, and proposals for speed cameras on Cowpasture Road and a crossing island on Skipton Road by Hickory House nursery.