The designated speed limit of 30mph in the village is frequently ignored by through traffic. This Parish Council led campaign aims to try and address the problem by pushing for a reduction to 20mph
The progress may be a bit on the slow side, but the efforts to reduce the speed limit through our village are making an impact.
Twenty’s Plenty signs have been put up at several points and the North Yorkshire County Council’s attempts to order their removal have failed. Indeed, they showed common sense by saying the signs, which had a red ring, could remain if we agreed to alter the colour to green.
We did so and fresh signs were made and put up, they look smart, are visible and signify our determination to carry on with the campaign. The fact that the County Council said we could keep the signs on the condition that they were changed indicated a victory for us.
You can be assured they will stay in place and, hopefully, in the not too distant future, Barkston Ash will have official 20 mph signs.
As many of you will aready know, the parish council has backed the Twenty’s Plenty campaign as have Nigel Adams MP and our county councillor and district councillors. Our campaign has received coverage in the Selby paper and in the Wetherby News, so the public are aware.
A petition signed by more than 150 residents in the village was handed in to the Tadcaster office of Nigel Adams who is genuinely sympathetic. One of the major points the campaign has often mentioned was that we have two schools in the village and, therefore, the risk to children’s safety was high, and remains so, because of speeding cars.
Therefore, to have the support of the nursery school and the primary school is of the utmost importance, and the pictures the Wetherby News carried of the children showing the posters they had made was one of the highlights of our efforts.
What Barkston Ash wants is consistency. We are delighted that much of York is now covered with 20 mph signs and the same applies to the road outside the primary school near the brewery in Tadcaster.
So, why can’t our village be treated in the same way?
The 20’s Plenty for Us organisation was set up in 2007 by Rod King. It is a National Voluntary non-profit organisation supporting local people wanting 20mph speed limits in their communities. Its mission is to establish 20mph as the default speed limit on all residential roads in the UK.
Anna Semlyen , who is the Campaign Manager for the organisation and a Labour Councillor in York was herself injured in a road accident in 1992 which has led to her involvement in this campaign. She says that 20mph in residential areas ‘will lead to safer, greener living, will increase the quality of life, the value of people’s homes and have NO major effect on anybody’s journey times’.
14 million people in the UK live in local authorities which are adopting or have adopted this policy including many of the most iconic cities whose residential streets are now 20mph.
20mph is ‘child protection’. It encourages parents to allow their children out and enables them to walk or cycle safely within their own communities.
Rod King was awarded the MBE in 2013 for his work. When receiving his award, he said ‘It really is “Time for 20” and this honour is very gratefully received. Perhaps most of all it signifies that 20’s Plenty for Us is much more than a campaign for change, but a movement towards a more civilised way of sharing our streets’.
The parish council is eager to hear if any residents have any ideas as to how we can develop our campaign, so please get in touch.