A 20 MPH speed limit would be introduced on the vast majority of roads in Bradford city centre under new plans revealed by Bradford Council.

Speed limits are also likely to be cut around a “significant” number of the district’s schools as part of the plans to make Bradford “a safer and more attractive place for pedestrians and cyclists.”

A road safety charity has praised the move, but one opposition councillor fears it could “frustrate” law abiding motorists.

The Council estimates that it will cost £120,000 to introduce the speed limits. No details of how it would be enforced have been released as of yet.

The new zone is likely to cover the city centre within the inner ring road - and extend to include the streets around Bradford College and University campuses.

Roads that would be exempt include Hall Ings, Princes Way/Godwin Street and the area of Manchester Road that falls within the boundary.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “The new proposals aim to protect vulnerable road users including children, pedestrians and cyclists by improving road safety at key locations of the district. It is hoped the new plans will encourage more people to take up walking and cycling.”

Streets around schools will have 20mph limits added to them early in 2019, although a full list of roads will not be released until later this year.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Twenty mile per hour zones are a proven way of making our roads safer and our proposed city centre zone will help make it a safer and more attractive place for pedestrians and cyclists as well as making it generally more inviting to live, work and visit.

“By rolling out a programme of 20mph zones around schools and nearby streets we can really make a difference in protecting children from the dangers of speeding and promote responsible driving and road safety across the district.

“This is a targeted approach aimed at areas where 20 mph zones will be most effective.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “These proposals are fantastic news for Bradford residents.

“Slower speed limits in areas where pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers interact are crucial to improving road safety and also encourage more people to take journeys by foot or by bike. The car has dominated our urban environment for far too long and decisions like this are a positive sign that our streets are becoming healthy, more welcoming environments.”

* Read the T&A's comment here

Councillor John Pennington, leader of the Conservatives on Bradford Council, said: “I can appreciate where we’re coming from a road safety angle, but it needs to be properly policed.

“We need to stop the idiots who ride quad bikes or souped up cars through the city centre at 50 or 60 miles an hour. A 20 mph limit is great if it is enforced.

“I think a lot of drivers do 30 mph in a 40 zone, 20 in a 30 zone, so in a 20mph zone you could probably walk quicker. It could cause more congestion and a lot of frustration for many drivers.”

Councillors Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “It is something we would welcome. It needs to be targeted around schools, as there is lots of evidence that 20mph zones reduce C02 emissions. We have a big problem in the district with poor air quality.

“We are pleased there is movement with the 20 mph zone scheme, but we are disappointed they haven’t moved forward with the Liberal Democrat suggestion that they introduce ‘no-idling’ zones outside schools.”

Councillor Martin Love, leader of the Green Party in Bradford, said: “This is a step in the right direction. We would like to see mandatory 20mph zones in residential zones full stop, but this is a good step towards that. There are already several councils in the country doing this, but for Bradford it is better late than never.

“When they introduced some 20mph zones in my Shipley ward it did have a noticeable effect. You might not have got the speeds down to 20, but it led to people reducing their speed from 35mph to maybe 25mph.”