A PROPOSED speed increase on a stretch of road between the villages of Scarcroft and Bardsey has been criticised by councillors.
Leeds City Council’s traffic planning officers want the current 30mph speed limit increased to 40mph on the A58 Wetherby Road connecting the two villages.
But councillors have voiced their concern that the new speed limit- which was originally proposed at 50mph- would be a potential danger to schoolchildren and encourage speeding.
Councillor Ann Castle, (Harewood, Cons) said she had “concerns” about the proposal. She told the Wetherby News: “I’m glad it’s a reduction on the original recommendations, but still think there are absolutely no grounds to raise the speed limit through the two villages at all.”
“Whilst I appreciate the fact that the A58 is a major road, as it passes through the villages, it is passing through a residential area which has a lot of pedestrians, especially children, in the vicinity of the road. I think it would be sensible to maintain the current 30mph speed limit, and this is what I will be putting pressure on traffic officers to maintain.”
Chairman of Scarcroft Parish Council, Paddy Procter, echoed similar concerns. “I am not really happy with the proposal,” she said. “If it is put to 40mph people will do 50mph. There are people who do 70mph to 80mph on this road and drive like a bat out of hell. “The A58 is an up and down in terms of speed limits, so I can see it from both sides, but the safety of children is absolutely a concern here.”
Coun Procter added that if proposals were put through, she would like a “fully democratic” public consultation on the plans. A spokesman for Leeds City Council said: “The Department of Transport requested that all local authorities review their speed limits on A and B roads. The council employed independent consultants to look at current speed limits across the city. Their research took into account a range of factors including accident statistics, current speeds and the surrounding environment. The resulting report suggested a number of changes across the city, including raising some speed limits and lowering others. The proposals for Bardsey and Scarcroft involve increasing the speed limit through the villages to 40 mph. We will be arranging a meeting with local members to discuss their concerns and whether they would like an informal consultation to take place before any recommendations go to the Highways Board. Once the Highways Board approve the proposals there will be a formal public consultation before any changes are implemented which will be open to everybody including local people, ward members and road users.”
Wetherby Police Inspector, Paul Dwyer, told the Wetherby News: “The police have had a meeting with local councillors in the area and they have made their views clear. We are currently working in conjunction with local authorities providing information to allow them to come to a final decision.”