20mph speed limit in Whitby will 'protect town's future' says GP surgeries and residents
They said that finding a solution to the “urgent and growing elderly and child road safety crisis” was “critical” due to the council’s approved merger of secondary schools in Whitby which campaigners said left “no child-friendly way to access the amalgamated site”.
A petition started by the two groups and other concerned residents proposes a “20mph default limit in built-up areas across the region and speed reduction on all road classes, including arterials where people are”.
This year North Yorkshire Council approved the introduction of reduced speed limits around seven schools in the county but rejected plans for a default 20mph speed limit, instead launching a county-wide review.
Resident Andy Jefferson said he has garnered the support of “all GP surgeries” in Whitby and the Esk Valley for a North Yorkshire-wide default 20mph policy.
Mr Jefferson said: “A year ago, the town council voted for default 20mph and asked North Yorkshire Council and the Highways Authority for their support, to no avail.
“The Vision for Whitby public consultation in May highlighted a significant perception of road danger at many junctions for pedestrians.”
He added that the reduced speed limit was vital due to Whitby’s “old and ageing population” and the recently approved school’s merger would mean that from next autumn “400 children will walk alongside dangerous roads”
The petition by the groups also calls on North Yorkshire and York city councils to “reduce traffic harm by adopting the Vision Zero target of zero killed or serious road injuries by 2030 with an intermediate target of 50 per cent fewer vulnerable road user KSI’s by 2027”.
The 20’s Plenty for North Yorkshire group said it was calling on all combined authority Mayoral candidates to commit to “a 20mph default speed limit where vulnerable road users mix with motor traffic”.