Ridicule over 20mph speed limit plans for nearly all Leeds city centre

Gridlock in Wellington Street, Leeds city centre. Picture: Simon Hulme.
Gridlock in Wellington Street, Leeds city centre. Picture: Simon Hulme.

Readers have ridiculed plans to impose a 20mph speed limit on nearly every road in Leeds city centre.

The YEP reported on Saturday that Leeds City Council wants to make the central area a better environment for pedestrians and cyclists with the proposals.

Leeds city centre.

Leeds city centre.

A map on the council's website shows the vast majority of the roads in the city centre coming under the new speed limit, with the exception of Loop Road and sections of adjoining roads.

Hundreds of readers ridiculed the plans online by claiming that drivers can rarely reach 20mph on congested city centre roads, while others called the plans a waste of money and one appealed for a mass transit solution to Leeds's gridlock woes.

Chris Long said: "Like you can go above 20mph in Leeds city centre anyway "

Jonathan Webster added: "Genius. I saw a pal walking along Kirkstall Road the other morning and I wound the window down to ask him if he wanted a lift. He declined on the basis that he was in a bit if a rush."

Terry Quinn joked: "Make it 5mph. You still wouldn't be able to speed."

Alex Amar Young posted: "Ridiculous waste of money again."

The council has been approached for comment but was unable to respond at this time.

A document explaining the authority's reasons for the proposal reads that the introduction of a 20mph speed limit within the city centre "contributes towards creating a safe and forgiving environment that can be enjoyed by all road users".

It continues: "This approach is a well established element of Leeds City Council's programme of road casualty reduction and sustainable travel.

"Although the issue of pedestrian casualties in the city centre is complex and subject to multiple causation factors, a city centre 20mph speed limit would go some way towards redressing the balance in favour of a more pedestrian and cyclist friendly environment and reducing the domination of traffic."

The plans have again sparked debate over the city's need for mass transit system enjoyed by cities such as Manchester and Sheffield.

Nick Beeson said: "Before they make things more difficult for people, they should make things easier.

"Get a realistic public transport network, preferably tram-based (like all major European cities).

"Make it easier, more pleasurable and more convenient to take the tram into the centre.

"Sadly, the 'We can't do that - Manchester and Sheffield do that' attitude prevails. And work with Bradford ('That'll never happen') to have sensible through routes for the whole conurbation."

Such ambitions would need to involve West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is also responsible for transport matters, and other organisations, however.

Members of the public can share their opinions about the plans before the deadline at noon on Friday, January 24.

Almost one hundred 20mph zones were rolled out around Leeds earlier this year, in addition to a longstanding programme introducing similar schemes which have been running since 1990.