Blanket 20mph zone ‘cannot work’ in Leeds

Blanket 20mph limits are not suitable for Leeds, according to Coun Lewis
Blanket 20mph limits are not suitable for Leeds, according to Coun Lewis
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A blanket 20mph zone for Leeds would not work, the council’s highways boss has said.

Coun Richard Lewis’s comments came as a survey released by the AA today showed that almost 70 per cent of drivers believe the rush towards blanket 20mph zones should be slowed down, with residents consulted before limits are imposed on their street.

The council’s executive member for development and economy said: “Because of the nature of Leeds, it is not the kind of city where 20mph zones can be implemented across the board. There are a lot of rural and semi-rural areas and 20mph speed limits simply cannot work in the same way in such areas as they can in a dense urban environment.

“We also try to progress 20mph schemes in Leeds by consensus and in agreement with people rather than by taking a top-down approach – we’d rather bring residents with us in such decisions and this has proved very successful so far.”

He said he could not recall anyone complaining about the number of 20mph zones being implemented, which he said, “speaks volumes in a city of 750,000 people.”

Campaign group 20’s Plenty For Us approached the Council in February, asking it to adopt its policy of adopting a mandatory 20mph speed limit for all residential streets, with targeted 30mph zones, which has been introduced in York.

A Council report in response said a phased approach, already adopted by the authority, better reflected resources and enabled “progressive local community consultation”.

Last month, plans were announced for that could turn hundreds of streets into 20mph zones as part of a new ‘super cycleway’ across Leeds.

Consultation has already began, and around 40 zones could be created.

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