PRESSURE is growing for more 20mph zones across Bradford.

The Telegraph & Argus understands a road safety charity will tomorrow call for the speed limit to be introduced across all built-up areas of the country.

But the debate is dividing opinion among Bradford councillors, with some supporting a blanket introduction in built-up areas, while others favouring limiting them to specific areas.

Councillor Val Slater, deputy leader of Labour-run Bradford Council and the authority's portfolio holder for transport, is among those against a blanket introduction.

"I do not agree with it," she said. "I think we need to only put them in areas where you can enforce them, particularly round schools.

"The police and the Council do not have the resources to enforce a blanket 20mph speed limit. It would not work - it would not be enforceable."


She added: "People need to take more care on roads. There is no point raising expectations by putting in 20mph zones where people will just disregard them.

"It would put some people off speeding, but not everybody. We have existing speed limits and not everyone sticks to them."

But Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Council's Liberal Democrat group, said she "absolutely agreed" with all built up areas becoming 20mph zones, listing speeding traffic as one of her biggest irritations.

"We should be more pro-active in slowing traffic down," she said. "We have got to get to grips with it.

"There is no point in Cllr Slater wringing her hands together and saying 'woe is me, there is nothing we can do'.

"We need to get to grips with it because our population is growing."

Cllr Sunderland also countered Cllr Slater's view about enforcement of 20mph zones.

"It is enforceable in other parts of the country," said Cllr Sunderland. "I have been looking at Edinburgh, where they are now talking about closing streets around schools."

The Council's Conservative group leader, Councillor Simon Cooke, said: "I think the evidence to there being a road safety benefit is very mixed. I am not convinced.

"I am convinced by their use in high-risk areas such as outside schools and local centres - I think they will work well there."

On a blanket introduction, he added: "There would be enormous enforcement problems. Evidence from Portsmouth suggests that it does not achieve the road safety benefits some believe.

"In enforcement and practical terms, actually targeting 20mph zones to targeted areas would be more realistic. If they are everywhere they will not have as much effect.

"I would not support a blanket introduction across all urban and developed areas."

But Councillor Martin Love, leader of the Council's Green group, said: "It would be easier to enforce than the patchwork system we have at the moment where you can go from 30mph to 20mph to 30mph at random.

"What is the difference between enforcing a 30mph zone and a 20mph zone?"

The latest 20mph zones in Bradford have been introduced in Bradford Moor including Wensleydale Road, Gwynne Avenue, Roydstone Road and Mortimer Avenue.

Councillor Mohammed Shafiq (Lab, Bradford Moor) said: "There have been number of accidents in some of these streets and residents are delighted that reduction in speed in built-up areas can reduce the number of accidents, and new signs mean safer streets in Bradford Moor ward for children and adults.

"I believe that driving at 20mph gives drivers more thinking time to react to unexpected incidents and avoid accidents. I urge drivers to take notice of the new reduced speed-limit in this area and would hope that police would monitor to ensure compliance with the speed limit.

"One person injured in a road traffic accident is one too many and all drivers have a responsibility to drive with care and attention to ensure the safety and protection of our residents."

A Council highways spokesman said: "There are further 20mph zones planned for other sites in the district which, subject to successful public consultation exercises, will be installed later in the financial year.

"Generally 20mph speed limits or zones have been promoted to address either a road casualties issue or community concerns about safety, or a combination of the two. The choice of sites has been prioritised by the constituency area committees in the Bradford district, who consider a number of factors including casualty statistics, traffic data and community representations."