Leeds MP Rachel Reeves calls for 20mph zones to be 'dramatically extended' in the city

Rachel Reeves.
Rachel Reeves.

A Leeds MP has urged ministers to support “dramatically extending” the roll-out of 20mph zones as she highlighted more than 2,200 road casualties in the city over one year and subsequent horror crashes.

Rachel Reeves today spoke of “mounting fears” about speeding and dangerous driving on roads in Leeds.

According to Department for Transport statistics, there were 2,203 casualties in road traffic collisions in Leeds in 2017, including 15 deaths and 309 seriously injured people.

It led Ms Reeves to carry out a survey in her Leeds West constituency, which attracted responses from 511 people showing 95 per cent complained that they “often see speeding in residential areas”.

Hotspots included Kirkstall Road and Armley Town Street - where a woman was run over and taken to hospital days before Christmas.

The Labour MP is now calling for more 20mph zones in the city and has written to the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, and wants various leaders to “dramatically extend” 20mph zones.

She said: “We need urgent action to improve safety for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists to cut the unacceptably high level of deaths and serious injuries. A tiny minority of reckless drivers are an absolute menace, particularly those who break the speed limits around schools. We need tougher enforcement action to deal with them.

I want to see more 20mph speed limits in my constituency and across Leeds. Cutting speed limits on our roads will save lives and make our streets far safer for everyone who uses them.

She cited moves by the government to cut Leeds City Council’s funding by £251 million since 2010 as hampering the authority’s efforts to improve road safety.

The MP also noted some of the road deaths which had occurred in Leeds over the last year.

In June 2018, four men were killed and three others were injured in a crash in Broadway, Horsforth.

Then in November, former RAF and air ambulance medic Dr Jonathan Ball was killed in a major collision on the A647 Stanningley Bypass.

Josh Harris, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said he “wholeheartedly” backed Ms Reeves’s demands.