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Agenda item

Called-in Item: 20mph Speed Limits: Your City Results and an Update on Policy Development

To consider the decisions made by the Executive Member for City Strategy at his Decision Session held on 1 February 2011 in relation to the above item, which have been called in by Councillors Merrett, Potter and Simpson-Laing in accordance with the provisions of the Council’s Constitution. A cover report is attached setting out the reasons for the call-in and the remit and powers of the Scrutiny Management Committee (Calling In) in relation to the call-in procedure, together with the original report to and decisions of the Executive Member.


Members received a report which asked them to consider the decisions made by the Executive Member for City Strategy at his Decision Session on 1 February 2011 in relation to residents opinions gathered through recent consultation on citywide 20mph speed limits undertaken through Your City and the initial impact of the trial in the Fishergate area.


Details of the Executive Members decisions were attached as Annex A to the report. The original report to the Executive Member Decision Session was attached as Annex B. The decision had been called in by Cllrs Merrett, Potter and Simpson-Laing, on the grounds that:


-     the decision failed to recognise and respond appropriately to the majority response to the city-wide speed limit consultation;

-     the Executive Member has not given fair consideration to other related benefits such as increased walking and cycling, and more outside play;

-     no significant, yet available, evidence was produced to detail the effectiveness of 20mph speed limits in improving road safety; and

-     the decision also failed to acknowledge that there are more cost-effective ways to introduce a lower city-wide speed limit than the £1m reported.


Councillor Merrett, spoke on behalf of the Calling In members who felt that the Executive Member had made the wrong decision in relation to this key issue for the city. He confirmed support for the earlier speakers sentiments and the benefits a 20mph limit would bring with improved road safety and reduction in city pollution. He also referred to DfT support for a lower limit and the need to back this up with work on hearts and minds. Reference was also made to the results of the Your City consultation and to the Executive Members failure to respond to the results of the speed limit consultation.


The Executive Member for City Strategy confirmed that none of the points raised were new and affected his views in relation to confirmation of the Councils current policies on setting speed limits with the city. He went onto point out that with limited Police enforcement and to the reduction in the number of killed and seriously injured that the focus should be on locations where there was a proven accident risk. He pointed out that the costs of implementing a citywide scheme would not guarantee a reduction in accident numbers.


Certain Members pointed to other local authorities implementation of 20mph schemes and questioned the need for a local scheme to be fully signed. They suggested phasing over a number of years, thereby reducing costs. Officers confirmed that they recommended adherence to national guidance in relation to signing to ensure that such a scheme was enforceable. In answer to questions, Officers pointed out that more research would be required on the impact of lower speeds on air quality, carbon reduction and noise.


Other Members questioned implementation with Officers having to justify exceptions to a 20mph default limit on residential roads. 


In relation to timescales and the affect of any decision on the Local Transport Plan 3, Officers confirmed that the Plan was subject to full Council approval and could be amended as necessary.


After a full debate, it was


RESOLVED:             That Option B be approved and that the matter be referred to the Executive (Calling-In) meeting, for the reason that the Executive Member for City Strategy failed to take account of the comments raised by the calling in Members as set out above.


REASON:                  In accordance with the requirements of the Council’s Constitution.

Supporting documents:


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