Request for 20mph speed limit pilot to be investigated

This story was published 8 November 2022

A call for a pilot scheme to trial 20mph speed limits in residential areas in part of the county is to be investigated by executive member for highways and transportation.

Cllr Keane Duncan

At its meeting today (8 November), the executive agreed that Cllr Keane Duncan should look into the request from the Harrogate and Knaresborough Area Constituency Committee.

The area constituency committee agreed at its meeting last month to advise the executive that it wanted a 20mph speed limit to be piloted throughout towns and villages in the constituency area “where a need has been identified”.

At today’s executive meeting, Cllr Duncan said: “It’s fair to say that a default 20mph limit is controversial. While it has some support, it also attracts strong opposition.

“The pilot being called for by the constituency committee represents a radical departure from our existing approach, which is based on national guidelines. It could also cost several million pounds.

“I am very keen that we investigate options to be able to provide an evidence-based assessment of the request. This will require information on factors such as road safety, environment, value for money, enforcement and lessons from other local authorities.

“It would also be useful to learn lessons from our own authority. It was only nine months ago that the executive agreed a new 20mph policy, so it is important we assess how that is working and any changes needed.

“I welcome the opportunity to investigate these factors thoroughly in order to be able to give an informed and comprehensive response to the constituency committee’s request in due course.”

The new 20mph speed limit policy agreed by the executive in January places a greater focus on active, sustainable travel, such as cycling and walking, and encouraging a sense of place.

The revised policy followed a review and recommendations by the council’s transport, economy and environment overview and scrutiny committee. It continued to support 20mph limits and zones where appropriate, taking a targeted, evidence-based approach, while broadening its scope to recognise the importance of community and social interaction. 

Find full details of the policy.