‘Ineffective’ 20mph zones set for Brighouse

A warning by councillors from the Brighouse wards has been issued that blanket 20mph zones in the area will be ‘ineffective and widely ignored’.

The eight Conservative councillors representing the areas of Brighouse, Rastrick and Hipperholme & Lightcliffe met to discuss this issue as Calderdale Council looks to implement the reduced speed areas in the district next year.

Towngate, Clifton

Towngate, Clifton

Two separate consultations conducted by local Conservatives across Brighouse and Rastrick suggested that, although residents welcomed the zones outside of schools, there was not widespread support for imposing these across all communities.

Councillor Scott Benton (Conservative, Brighouse) said this view was also supported by the council’s own official consultation conducted back in 2012 which showed that less than 50 per cent of people agreed with blanket 20mph zones and that the idea lacked a clear democratic mandate.

“Several years ago, when this idea was first proposed as a Calderdale-wide policy, the Conservative Group stated our concerns that these zones should not be imposed against the explicit wishes of local people.

“In order to be effective, 20mph zones have to be self-policing but because they aren’t supported by the majority of local people, they will be ineffective and widely ignored as they currently are elsewhere.

“We don’t believe that a ‘one size fits all approach’ will work and strongly feel that the voice of local residents and communities should be heard and that 20mph zones should only proceed where the community supports them.

“We want to hear the views of local residents in relation to what is appropriate for their community.”

Councillors will be delivering leaflets across the area over the coming weeks to let people know about the consultation and to seek their views directly.

Coun Benton added they don’t think that the plans have the support of local residents at present and if this is again demonstrated through the consultation, they will be calling on the Council to listen to the views of the public and act accordingly,

Calderdale Council will look to introduce the new 20mph speed limit on residential streets throughout the area next year.

The limit will come into place in Brighouse and Rastrick from February 2017 and in Hipperholme, Lightcliffe and Norwood Green in May 2017.

The Council is inviting local people to get involved in the consultations for Brighouse, Rastrick, Hipperholme, Lightcliffe and Bailiff Bridge rollouts.

This will be a chance for people to share their views on what 20mph means to them in their areas, and to report any concerns about specific parts of roads where the speed limit will be introduced.

Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, Paul Butcher, said: “We are launching 20mph speed limits in residential areas across Calderdale to help reduce the number and seriousness of collisions; help everyone feel safer however and wherever they travel; enable people to live healthier lifestyles; and make our communities more pleasant places to be.

“We encourage local people to take part in the next consultations.

“Soon, we will also be giving people the chance to get involved in our new 20mph interactive game, developed independently by road safety experts, and would welcome feedback from anyone that wants to see it before it goes live – simply send us a message through the ‘Love our streets’ Facebook page, where residents can also join the chat about 20mph.”

The Brighouse and Rastrick consultation takes place from Thursday September 22 to Friday October 14 2016.

Team’s will be in Brighouse every Saturday from September 10 to October 1 talking to residents, giving factual information about 20mph and recording feedback from anyone who wants to share their views.