Rethink ordered over public views on 20mph speed limit

A CONTROVERSIAL decision to exclude a public consultation about introducing a 20mph speed limit for York's residential neighbourhoods from an upcoming five-year transport plan for the city has been referred back to the council's executive.

The first draft of the third local transport plan is due to be publicly available in 10 days time before going before the council executive for a decision in early February.

A public consultation on 20mph limits in the city had taken place last November but it was not planned to use the results in the transport plan.

Now following a council scrutiny management committee meeting, councillors voted in favour of "calling in" the decision and referring it back to the council executive for further consideration.

York Labour councillor Dave Merrett said: "With such strength of feeling from the public on this issue, which it responded to with the local transport plan consultation quite probably thinking it was part and parcel of the same consultation, it would be quite wrong to discount it now.

"It reflects York residents' understanding of the significance of reducing vehicle speed on both safety grounds and people's willingness to consider walking and cycling as an alternative mode of transport."

The meeting, which took place on Monday, was also addressed by the 20s Plenty national campaign manager, Anna Semlyen, who has been calling for 20mph speed limits in residential areas for some considerable time.

She told the meeting the issue was vitally important for casualty reduction.

Coun Steve Galloway, executive member for city strategy, said: "No decision has been made on the content of the local transport plan three.

"The first draft will be discussed on February 1 where all councillors and residents will have the opportunity to make representations with the benefit of seeing the draft in 10 days time."

Last week York Council came under fire from the city's Green party leader for failing in its environmental commitments with its transport policies.

Coun Galloway said plans were in place for a range of environmental measures including electric car charging points and low-emission buses.

STEVE GALLOWAY: All councillors and residents will have chance to make representation